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Round 2. Thelibra V Howmuchisthedoggy: Peak Oil

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posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 10:50 AM
The topic for this debate is "Peak Oil is an accurate and generally correct theory"

Thelibra will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
Howmuchisthedoggy will argue against this proposition.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words. In the event of a debater posting more than the stated word limit then the excess words will be deleted by me from the bottom. Credits or references at the bottom do not count towards the word total.

Editing is Strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements only one image may be included in each post. No more than 5 references can be included at the bottom of each post. Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references.

Responses should be made within 24 hours, if people are late with their replies, they run the risk of forfeiting their reply and possibly the debate.

Judging will be done by an anonymous panel of 13 judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. Results will be posted by me as soon as a majority (7) is reached.

This debate is now open, good luck to both of you.

posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 02:53 PM
It is my intention to prove that, given our current demand, the world's oil production will, in the foreseeable future, peak out and then rapidly decline. This will be done using math, scientific evidence, and reports from multiple reputable sources.

The opposition will likely cite from a number of questionable sources, claiming that it is instead a scam by the oil industries to justify inflated prices. However, it must be remembered that price is not an indicator of scientific fact, it is merely an agreed-upon amount of money to be exchanged between buyer and seller. Were oil to be sold at $1 a barrel or $1000 a barrel, it does not change the fact that the demand for oil will inevitably exceed the supply available.

Thanks to the incredibly vast infrastructure built around the oil industry, the current demand has such inertia that even if an alternative source of energy were made available, it would take estimated ten years minimum to make the switch. Some estimates go as high as twenty years. Not even the “fat oil barons” could possibly survive the economic ruination of Earth in such a situation.

The opposition will likely make claims of abiogenic origins of oil, and how they create an unlimited supply of constantly regenerating oil. This too, is a misconception that must be immediately addressed. Hydrocarbons are the source for oil, and while abiogenic hydrocarbons exist, they are not produced in sufficient enough quantities to make an impact on the demand for oil. As such, almost all oil is produced from biogenic hydrocarbons.

Among the scientists of the world, there is little debate as to whether or not the production of oil will peak. The only question in their mind is "when?"

The most reliable and accepted projection to date is 2007. The vast majority of estimates place our peak at around 2012, however, those estimates are factoring in constant technological advances in ways to extract oil. A tiny handful of the most optimistic scientists place it at 100 years from now, but in doing so, have factored in every possible and reasonable way of decreasing the demand for oil including: extreme prices, alternative energy sources, conservationist policies, constant oil extraction technology advances, and environmental gouging for every last drop.

According to the International Energy Agency figures (considered low by analysts), the world needs to produce an additional 2,723,530.2 barrels of oil per day, just to maintain parity with demand. This is not the daily demand, this is the amount that production must continually rise in order to meet the demand. However, the total spare capacity of all 11 OPEC countries is a mere 330,000 barrels per day (bpd), and Saudi Arabia alone needs up to 800,000 additional new bpd just to make up for the declining production in existing fields.

How can anyone of rational mind ignore this impending crisis?

Peak Oil - Definition and Explanation

Information on Oil Projections

Abiogenic oil

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 01:49 PM
50 years from Flintstone time.

Oil reserves are running out.

Yes, you heard me correctly. At this rate, if we haven't already reached the peak of oil production versus oil reserves then we are not far off it. I could expand on this topic, but it would be a shame to steal my opponent's thunder. After all, he is preparing behind the scenes to dazzle you with math, scientific evidence, and reports from multiple reputable sources. Links upon links detailing many decades of man-hours in research (done by others) await your reading pleasure in his future posts.

What about me? Am I to sip from the poisoned chalice once more and try and argue the preposterous position that a finite source is somehow actually magically infinite? That as our demand is far outstripping our oil reserves that everything is still going to be rosy in the garden?? As my esteemed opponent has already stated, how can anyone of rational mind ignore such an impending crisis???

Peak Oil is an accurate and generally correct theory

Disregarding the slight paradox in this statement that something can be simultaneously accurate and yet only generally correct, over the course of my next few posts I intend to show you, what an utterly inaccurate and incorrect sham of supply & demand that the Peak Oil Theory presents, as demanded by the topic of this debate.

The topics I will be covering in support of my argument will be:

1. At current trends the oil reserves will undoubtedly run out.
2. Peak Oil as a theory is an inaccurate take on the current energy situation.
3. While the notion of Peak Oil is in cold clinical mathematical thinking plausible, when presented side by side with common sense it can in fact be shown to be generally incorrect.

While my esteemed opponent rightly states that it would take at least 10 years to effect a change in the current oil infrastructure, I would like to point out that 10 years ago a lot of people still didn't know what an email was. Yet in 10 short years how the world has changed thanks to advances in technology. When the will and the technology exists anything is possible.

1995 to 2000, no wait 2007.....No! Sorry 2012!!

One of the easiest things to prove over the course of this debate will be how inaccurate the Peak Oil theory is. I have no intention of arguing whether the oil is running out or not. From the moment the first oil well started pumping, oil was running out.

My esteemed opponent will no doubt quote various sources who arrogantly can estimate the total amount of oil left on the planet and thus can predict when we have half of it used up.

No, dear reader, that is not the question at hand.

Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Information Age......Stone Age!?!?

We could argue about the other 10% the “generally” doesn't cover. How certain oil wells are refilling. Of course my esteemed opponent seeks to pooh-pooh the theory of Abiotic oil with the generally accepted fossil fuel theory which as everyone knows is when all the dinosaurs got together in the same place, had a big party and drank Reverend Dinos poisoned orange juice over their anxiety at the impending Peak Vegetation crisis. If this were a debate over whether oil is Abiotic or Biotic, then I would surely lose as we all know the stories of oil gushing out from between the bones of fossils as paleontologists dig them up.

Hubbard's theory of Peak production, which can be applied to most resources, not just oil, goes something like this. There is a finite amount of oil in the world. As production increases we will reach a peak where half the oil in the world has been used and thus from then on out we will never be able to produce as much again. Production will continue until we have it all used up and the curve bottoms out.

This is where the Peak Oil theory begins to falter. It makes many inaccurate assumptions:

1. We know accurately how much oil is on this planet.
2. Our rate of consumption will increase.
3. We will continue locust-like until we have used every drop of oil.
4. The oil reserves are finite.
5. Human ingenuity is finite.
6. Human greed is infinite.

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 02:53 PM
I applaud my opponent's sincere, though misguided creativity in such a serious matter. Unfortunately, he has, like so many others, put words into the theory that do not exist. For one, Michael Hubbert (not Hubbard) never states that we know accurately how much oil is left in the planet, nor does he ignore human ingenuity. Additionally, Hubbert has never, in any of his numerous publications and speeches, ever said that oil came from dinosaurs. The direct quote, from Wikipedia, is as follows:

It predicts that future world oil production will soon reach a peak and then rapidly decline. The actual peak year will only be known after it has passed.

Where he drew all those other statements from is a mystery.

A common mistake among the opponents of Peak Oil Theory is the lack of consideration for the enormous amount of products that oil is used for. Alternative energy sources and fuels are certainly a necessity in the near future (or even today!). However, oil is used in all of the following: Plastics, Cleaners, Waxes, Medicines, Paints, Abrasives, Ropes, Furniture, Vehicles, Hygienic Items, Adhesives, Insulation, Lubricants, Clothing, Solvents, Fertilizers, Insecticides, Rubber.

Every product on Earth requires at least one of these things. Food alone requires so much in the way of oil products that for every 1 calorie of food one digests, they have consumed 10 calories of oil. We are, quite literally, an oil-hungry world!

Yet, all over the globe, existing pumps are falling in production by 1.4 million barrels per day. New production, every single day, is the only way we are making up this loss and maintaining parity with demand. Ghawar, the mother of all oil fields (discovered over 60 years ago), had an estimated reserve of almost 100 billion barrels. It is now showing a
55% water cut—of the seawater pumped in to push the oil up, 55% is what's being pumped out. When a field reaches 50%, it is in decline. When it reaches 70-80%, the oil field collapses, useless. According to Professor Michael Klare, if we are to just to merely maintain supply for our demand, we will have to find three new Ghawars within 10-15 years.

There has only been one Ghawar ever found.

So why aren't a greater number of expeditions sent to discover new oil fields, and build new refineries? The answer is a grim one; the companies realize now there simply isn't much oil remaining to be found. They are downsizing, selling off their assets, laying off employees, and resorting to mergers just to survive. While I am certain that few of us feel much sympathy for these companies, it must be acknowledged that these are not the practices of a healthy business. These are the actions of an entire desperate industrial sector that is facing its eventual and inevitable demise.

My opponent claims that our demand for oil is not increasing? I present the following.

Average Total World Oil Balance (Million Barrels Per day)

2001: Supply=77.51 - Demand=78.10 = NET -0.59
2002: Supply=76.86 - Demand=78.40 = NET -1.54
2003: Supply=79.46 - Demand=79.87 = NET -0.41
2004: Supply=82.97 - Demand=82.46 = NET +0.51

The brief rise we saw in 2004 was due to new oil Mega Projects going on line after a 4-6 year wait. A Mega Project is an oil field with reserves of over 500 million barrels, and the potential to produce over 100 thousand barrels per day. As of 2005, there have been no new mega-projects found. As you can see from the projections, our tiny stint of surplus oil is rapidly being overrun.

2005: Supply=84.90 - Demand=84.70 = NET +0.20
2006: Supply=86.70 - Demand=86.70 = NET 0.0

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the fact of the matter: We are about to exceed the supply of available oil.

Greed itself is further proof. If oil replenished itself in sufficient quantity to meet demand or if it were believed that large enough oil pockets existed to extract oil from, oil companies would be drilling for it and selling it. If oil companies wanted to remain the champion of energy and material for product, then why are their own data so desperately telling us we need to find alternative fuels?

Even if, by some miracle, human ingenuity manages to develop alternative energy and raw materials to replace oil [I]plus the infrastructure to use them[/I], it does nothing to disprove the fact that demand will have exceeded supply. And that is the core of this debate.

The reason for denying Oil Peak Theory is quite simple: it is easier for mankind to assume someone is hiding the solution until the last possible moment, than to consider the consequences of a world where there isn't enough oil to go around. The truth is far too terrifying.



Oil Timelines

Peak Oil Theory Justifications

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 11:40 PM
I thank my opponent for correcting me. When I was writing Hubbert I was thinking of the old nursery rhyme about Old Mother Hubbard and how the cupboard was bare. A Freudian slip I am sure you would all forgive me for in such a serious debate. Would anyone throw the poor howmuchisthedoggy a bone?

I am not going to use so many references of the information countering Peak Oil as a conspiracy in my debate. The vast majority of data on the subject supports my opponents side and the only data that contradicts it comes from bug-eyed conspiracy theorists and I have no wish to sound like one of them. I am a Mechanical Engineer by trade and I know how truely dire the situation really is. I can laugh at every solution put forward to countering the decline of worldwide oil reserves, as I already know the true worth of alternative energy sources and alternative raw materials. Things are going to get ugly for a while and real soon.

Instead I intend to appeal to hopeful nature of you, dear reader. I intend for you to drop the "Deny Ignorance" mantra of ATS and for a while ignore the wealth of data supporting the case, as cited by my opponent and take a little trip into the future with me, 15 years or so, as I give my view as an engineer on these following points:

Originally posted by howmuchisthedoggy

This is where the Peak Oil theory begins to falter. It makes many inaccurate assumptions:

1. We know accurately how much oil is on this planet.
2. Our rate of consumption will increase.
3. We will continue locust-like until we have used every drop of oil.
4. The oil reserves are finite.
5. Human ingenuity is finite.
6. Human greed is infinite.

My esteemed opponent states that it is a mystery where I got these statements. Let me solve the mystery for him. I pulled them from my butt. The only reliable source of information for the against side on this topic.

So here we are in 2020.

I'm still a Mechanical Engineer. Though things have changed. I no longer work designing machines to mass produce electronic components for mass produced products. Instead I work in one of the many cottage industries that have sprung up in Japan, supplying ingenious solutions to people's every day needs.

I look back at the Peak Oil Theory and I can give you a message of hope. It was inaccurate and it was wrong!!! There is still oil in the ground, though we can't be bothered to get some of it as it is stuck in Bitumen Fields and Tar Sands. A dirty and expensive option we no longer need to pursue. The Middle East is a radioactive wasteland and we still suffer from the weather conditions brought on by the suicide switch that blew up the Saudi Oil fields when America and Israel tried to pull a fast one on them.

1. We know accurately how much oil is on this planet.

The first assumption we made when we believed in Peak Oil Theory. We didn't know. In fact, thanks to Russian Deep Bore technology[1] many formerly dry wells have been found to have "oil in the basement" as it were. Coupling that with the abiotic refilling of some other wells, such as Eugene Island[3] the peak in production never occured. Oil reserves were revised upwards and a more sensible use of what we had meant that the Peak Oil curve actually levelled out.

We found out in retrospect that the Middle Eastern oil fields could have supported us all indefinitely if only they had cut their production 30% and allowed the abiotic process to gradually refill certain fields. Instead the American/Israeli cabal killed the Golden Goose. The war that ensued had one good outcome. We had to change our consumption habits, and fast........

2. Our rate of consumption will increase.

Worldwide, our consumption did increase as more and more developing countries got on the band wagon. However, demand levelled off for a number of reasons. The poorer countries had already sold off their Kyoto protocol carbon credits to the richer countries, so sensibly chose incredible public transport systems powered by biodiesel[4]. An abundance of cheap labor and agricultural space meant a more than sufficient supply for their buses and power generation needs.

Then there was the war and the 2nd Great American Revolution. That is a story for a different thread, dear reader. Let me just tell you that in 2020, the world loves Americans again and in most teenagers rooms is a poster of that famous photo of President Jon Stewart being sworn in, while in the background swinging by their necks from lamp posts are the CEO's of big oil and industry, with President Cheney hanging front and center.

to be Continued in my 2nd response........


posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 03:28 PM
I would like to be put on the waiting list for one of those posters, and will be first in line to vote Jon Stewart for President.

What technological panacea will replace oil in sufficient enough quantity to offset the demand from supply? You will need to find a way to replace electrical power, fuel, and raw materials for products and food.

Let's address the single greatest problem of non-oil sources for all of these things.


The three most touted alternative energy sources (solar, wind, and biofuel) require a lot of land to use, and also require a very specific type of land as well. Namely the kind used for agriculture and living.

The United States is the single largest consumer of oil, with a mere 300 million inhabitants and 3,537,441 square miles of land. However, China is fast approaching our rate of consumption, and with their staggering population of 1.3 billion, they will surpass us by roughly 5 times our consumption rate in years to come, with a country of roughly the same size (3,696,100 square miles).

Current U.S. cropland takes up 19% of the landmass, but since 16% of our land is in Alaska, and unsuitable for agricultural production, it's actually more like 23%. Over 6% of the land has been developed and over 41% is grazed by livestock. That leaves continental America with about 30% of its land left to devote towards alternative sources of energy and raw materials to replace oil.

How will we replace the fuel? Biofuel? Ethanol from crops such as corn would take 33% of America's total landmass to replace just our current needs for oil, and the best estimates at a viable and remotely cost-efficient hydrogen fuel cell is fifteen years away.

Electricity? The U.S. alone used 3,735,000,000 megawatts in 2004, and increases by about 2.4% per year. China increases 4.3% per year.

Wind Energy? Please. Effective use of 600 kilowatt fans would require a max 12 per every usable square mile. Meaning at best, if every meter were usable, you could produce 7,640,872.56 megawatts, or 0.002% of our current demand. To provide for just our electrical needs, it would take an area the size of 15,015 Americas, or over 221 Earths.

Solar Energy? A tad more promising, but still grim. Assuming that every single meter of remaining space were leveled and blanketed with 100% efficient solar cells capable of capturing all 1020 watts per square meter of solar energy given off by the sun (received at sea level), with zero loss, we can generate roughly 2,354,982,521 megawatts (or 63% of current demand.) As my opponent is an engineer, he can readily attest to the improbability of ever reaching a pure, 100% efficient transfer of solar energy from sun to cell to end-use. But the absolute best that technology can hope for still falls far short of our goals, leaves no land left for anything else, and would take an enormous amount of time and maintenance.

Is anyone beginning to see why we use fossil fuels instead?


Let's not forget the oil that goes into our products and food. 54.3% of the oil that is used for petroleum-based products. What will be used instead? Where will it come from? Almost any product you name requires oil to make.

Now, 40% of our oil consumption in the United states goes to fuel for transportation. So, biodiesel may be the only possible answer, though it is still at a stage requiring a massive amount of land. But just say you could cut our oil demand by a bit over 8 million barrels a day by converting over 130 million cars to a biodiesel engine. The amount of work ahead is staggering. I refer to the old engineering mantra:

"Good, Cheap, Fast: Pick two."

You will have to convert all the gas stations, get every single car manufacturer on board, wait for them to come up with new concept designs, produce the cars, transport them to the lots, change the attitude of a Congress with vested interests, and somehow convince a skeptical public of the dire nature of the situation. And you'll have to start it yesterday. If you want it done right, and in an affordable fashion, it's going to take a minimum of 10 years, which is 3 years over the most reasonably optimistic projections of how long we have left, or 8 years longer than the realistic projections.

Now multiply that work by 5, because that's what China will have to do as well. Two of the richest nations on Earth are going to have the hardest time of it. How do you think the poorer countries will fare?

If my opponent isn't in tears by now, I know I sure am!

Solar Power

Land Mass Usage of the United States

Sources for consumption of oil and electricity

posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 09:35 AM
Before I continue with my 2020 analogy, I suppose I better address some of the points my opponent is bringing up, lest someone reading this debate thinks they have wandered into the Creative Writing section of ATS by mistake!!

What we are covering here is whether the Peak Oil theory, where we exhaust the supply of oil on the planet, has any accuracy or is in any way correct.

My opponent stated it best when he asked:

What technological panacea will replace oil in sufficient enough quantity to offset the demand from supply?

My opponent is right to state that at the minute, alternative forms of energy such as Solar and Wind do not pass muster. Of course he failed to mention the myriad of other altenative sources, such as Tidal, Thermal, Deep Sea Temp. Difference engines, Wave Power, Coastal Bore Hole Pumps, etc. I even have one alternative power source detailed in my analogy where one of history's Bad Guys of energy production comes to the rescue which may surprise you!!!

Therein lies the key to this debate. Production must equal Demand. Production has no way of keeping up with Demand. Demand surpasses Production and Peak Oil Theory rings true. Back to the Stone Age.

Only as far as I am concerned this is impossible. Once Demand exceeds Production there will be shortages. People will have to do without. Demand falls as we pursue alternative sources for our energy, food and raw materials. New technologies will free up new reserves for Production. Yet, as we will have been weaned off the glutinous amount of energy we need now, Peak Oil theory falls flat on it's face. Why bother with the difficult extraction of other oil sources when you don't need them? Humans will always take the easy option.

Let's expand on this thought back in 2020.

3. We will continue locust-like until we have used every drop of oil.

The turn of the century was the darkest time. Rather than spend billions on researching alternative sources the US administration decided against gambling on finding undiscovered oil reserves. Instead they took the sure bet and shot the dealer, took all the house winnings by seizing the known oil reserves in the Middle East. They didn't count on the "Dog in the Manger" attitude of the Saudi's and when the suicide switch was thrown on the oil fields we all suddenly found we had to do without.

Japan was a bit better off than most. Having already invested heavily in Solar Power [1] most homes now have a set of solar panels. Back in 2005 many housing companies had been offering solar systems for around $20,000 extra. [2] It was considered prudent in an earthquake prone country to have a domestic source of power. This freed up the Nuclear Power for heavy industry. Geothermal stations and Wind Farms sprung up, and some of the white elephant coastal docks in Japan found new life as Tidal Power stations.
In China, which has vast amounts of low quality coal, new clean coal technologies [3] coupled with their already massive Hydro power program helped stave off most of their energy concerns. Europe took a hard knock as well, but having invested in Fusion technology in 2005 [4] a number of working Fusion reactors now provide clean power to her slowly recovering industries.

Hunger is a great motivator

If I was an American in 2005 I would have been crying too as with the end of cheap oil came the end of a lifestyle. No more 20 kinds of coffee, 50 kinds of bread and the other trappings of an extravagent society. Even in 2005 I grew half of my own food. An extra few days a month made a big difference. As for the silly notion that you need oil to make fertilizer in order to grow food, I have only one word to say.


And lots of it!! Seaweed. Mulch. Compost from domestic organic waste. We didn't need oil 100 years ago to grow food, we will learn to do without it in the future. Think of the waste of energy that goes into growing a packet of frozen vegtables. Fertilizer, transport, processing, transport to the shop, packaging, transport to get it home. Now compare it with the energy going into growing and harvesting those vegtables in your own plot. Take it from me, a little bit of effort for food that tastes better and is better for you. I wouldn't blame you for crying as that is an end of a lifestyle that is far too easy.

The most interesting developments will have to wait for the space in my 3rd response. They are to do with what happens with the biggest culprit in this game - the automobile.

[1] Japan's Largest Solar Power System
[2] Kyocera Releases New Domestic Solar Power Generation Systems in Japan
[3] Clean Coal Technologies
[4] France gets nuclear fusion plant

(Edit for word count)

[edit on 7/11/2005 by Amorymeltzer]

posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 04:45 PM
As long as we're telling stories, let me tell you one.:

You may not remember the Oil Crisis of the late 70's/early 80's, but I do.

My family had a nice, 2-story, corner lot house in Houston, TX (one of the cities hit hardest by the crisis). My father was the president of a company that had already made the Fortune 500, and had its eye on a 100 slot within the next five to ten years. My sister was an honor student, my brother was a typical spoiled rich kid, and I was in elementary school. My father is a Professional Engineer, has a Master's Degree in Math, and before the crisis, had designed the precursor to AutoCAD, pulling in about $10 million per year. None of us every saw the money; it went straight back into the business, making new headway into the way engineers and architects made their designs.

Cue the Oil Crisis.

The price for everything went up because gas was the first thing to rise in price, and of course, since everything has to be shipped somehow, this affected the bottom line. In order to be able to stay in business without raising prices too much, a lot of people were laid off. Those people, in turn, had less money to spend during a time when everything was more expensive. Meaning, less customers for any business, which meant less profits, which meant more layoffs...

It was a terrible time. My father's software business was hit so hard by the economic backlash that he ended up having to sell it at a huge loss, just to be able to pay his employee's last checks before the doors closed. For two and a half years, every single night, he then worked three jobs, two of them full time, one of them part-time, none of them paying more than minimum wage. Before this time, he was a hale and hearty man who spent as much time with his family as he could between business meetings and clients. By the end of that two and a half years, he was a gaunt and sickly stranger to us all.

As for my mother, brother, sister, and myself, we lived off of boiled shrimp (which went for a mere 10-25 cents a pound), beans, rice, lettuce and celery salads, and occasionally, chicken. I didn't eat breakfast, and the schools put me on the school lunch program, only to take me off again when it turned out there were 200 kids even poorer than I was. So for lunch I had a slice of bread with peanut butter, folded in half, and a glass of water. The neighborhood surrounding our house went from bad to unbearable. My brother was stabbed on three different occasions and my sister was brutally beaten and mugged. I'd been chased to the door with a knife in my back. Two rival gangs fought over whose turf the corner-lot house belonged to nearly every week. At night I'd literally fall asleep to the sounds of gunshots, screams, sirens, and flashing red and blue lights. I even had the honor of being the last person to see my best friend in their last few minutes of life, before one of the local Los Treses brujos decided to flee the police and ran him over.

Even with all of this doing without, we had to declare a bankruptcy. The electricity and water were both shut off at various points, and things went from unbearable to an attitude of literally trying to survive from hour to hour. It wasn't until the Oil Crisis finally ended, and the economy picked back up that he got a job paying more than minimum wage again, we moved, and he began the long arduous process of picking up an entire family by his bootstraps.

What ended it? More oil.

That's it. No one stepped up the plate. No secret cache of alternative fuel technologies appeared. My father was one of the rich, and had a completely unrelated business to oil, and was still brought down so low that it was only through breaking himself that he managed to keep us from becoming homeless. It was hell. It was a living, breathing, hell of an existence.

But as someone who lived through the real deal once already, I'm a little wiser to what lies ahead. The next time, it won’t be a mere 2-3 years where oil prices were a bit too high. It will be a matter of oil simply not being available at any price.

Fusion won’t even be seriously researched until the experimental reactor is built, which will be years. The water-based technologies he mentioned have a very limited area they can be employed to, along with causing environmental damage.

(edit for word count)

[edit on 7/11/2005 by Amorymeltzer]

posted on Jul, 11 2005 @ 10:12 AM
Well thank you for sharing your story with us. I take it you were trying to illustrate for us what you think life will be like in a decade or so. As far as I know some people live like that right now, but as you know, when you have money you tend to forget about what it was like being poor. History is repeating itself in the US.

I don't remember the Oil Crisis although I do remember my Dad losing his job at the local oil terminal. Times got hard and we weren't rich to begin with. Did we go to the poor-house along with the BETA video cassette workers?

Of course we didn't!

My Dad did what we will all have to do in the future. Much like your father he adapted and worked his butt off. At least he had a trade as a builder. My brother and I both learned to get our hands dirty and work. We also worked our butts of in college. It wasn't oil that saved us it was EDUCATION.

However, not to divert too much from the topic at hand, which is the inaccuracy and lack of validity in Peak Oil theory. Firstly the original Oil Crisis you referred to was caused by politics, as were the crises to follow [1] up until recently. The current crisis is the danger of production not meeting demand.

The 1973 Oil Crisis made the situation in a stagnant economy worse[2]. The economy was already entering recession, so it was hardly the main cause of all America's woes. My opponent also states that:

No secret cache of alternative fuel technologies appeared.

Of course not!! America had cheap oil and the entire economy grew up on that one principal! Suburbia, commuting and a wasteful consumer society. No wonder the Oil Crisis hit them so hard. However the 1973 crisis did wake the US up. Enter Renewable Energy.

Extract from [2]1973 Oil Crisis:
The energy crisis led to greater interest in renewable energy, especially wood fuel and spurred research in solar power and wind power.

The Crisis ended in 1974, but did the US learn from it's mistakes? I think the following quote my opponent makes sums up his view of the situation we face due to this lack of learning and the impending doom he is trying to convince you we all face.

The next time, it won’t be a mere 2-3 years where oil prices were a bit too high. It will be a matter of oil simply not being available at any price.

This brings to mind an image of the last puff of dust coming out of the oil well in 2050 and bottles of oil on auction. This will never happen. When we use the last of the cheap oil, demand will slow as prices rocket. However the more expensive to extract oil will still be in the ground.

The case in 1973 where the prices quadrupled. If it happened again will we descend into anarchy? Hardly. We would do well to imitate what the Japanese did after the 1973 crisis.

Extract from [2]1973 Oil Crisis:
The 1973 oil crisis was a major factor in Japanese economy shift away from oil-intensive industries and resulted in huge Japanese investments in industries like electronics.

Japanese automakers led the way in an ensuing revolution in car manufacturing. The large automobiles of the 1950s and 1960s were replaced by far more compact and energy efficient models.

A trend they continue to this day. Look at the performance of the Prius[3]. I was going to continue my 2020 analogy, but I will spare you the details! The summary was that I forsee the descendants of the year 2005 51 MPG Prius being a "Tri-bred" rather than Hybrid car.

A "Tri-bred" would be based on the already popular Japanese k-car (sub 1 litre class) with synergy drive technology and a solar panel to boot. What would you make it out of? How about an old Henry Ford design for a Soybean plastic[4] car? Sure, you would still need some oil for plasticisers, but only a tiny fraction of the amount needed for a normal car. Add to that the efficency gained from cryogenic treatment[5] of engine parts and you would have cars that fit the current system and infrastructure but only consume a fraction of the oil they consume today. Instead of 1 visit a fortnight to the Gas Station, it would be once every couple of months.

water-based technologies...environmental damage.

Outside of visual pollution, none. I would much prefer to see any of those technologies than a tanker leaking oil off the coast.

Technology will prevail.

[1] Energy Crisis
[2] 1973 Oil Crisis
[3] Toyota Prius
[4] Soybean Car
[5] SCI/TECH: Cryogenically Treated Car Engine Gets 120 Miles to the Gallon

posted on Jul, 11 2005 @ 01:02 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Judges, I present to you the conclusion on the accuracy and validity of Peak Oil Theory:

I have come away with this debate with a new sense of respect for the dire nature of mankind's disregard for the Earth. This is no mere matter of politics, corporate warfare, and predatory practices. No!

For every person who wants to save the Earth, how many have actually followed through with a single step? Some, to be certain, but it is the many others who do nothing that control our fate. And what would they do if they did? How many right now are capable, time-wise, money-wise, and skill-wise, to even know where to begin?

What is our greatest threat?

Is it deforestation or disease?
Is it the ozone layer or SUVs?
Is it terrorism or nuclear war?
Is it super volcanoes or a big meteor?
Is it global warming or is it pollution?
Is it xenophobia or revolution?
Is it the government or big corporations?
Is it religious wars or the United Nations?
Is it the rich, or is it poverty?
Is it the health care crisis or Peak Oil Theory?

So many crises in need of a long-term resolution... and the Peak Oil problem is just one of them. The opinions about it one way or another are split, and those that agree that it's a problem don't necessarily do anything about it.

What is our greatest threat?

It's the one right in front of our faces; it's the one we see here and now. The crisis we focus on is the one we can't ignore at that moment in time because it's already too late and the proverbial excrement has hit the fan. At this very moment, the problems involving Peak Oil are merely an inconvenience. The ramifications are at least two years away, which in this world is halfway to a million.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is in the nature of mankind to ignore this problem until it is too late. The demand will exceed supply. The technology won't be ready in time, because there are so many other things to worry about first. The scarce supply will, in the face of even higher backlogged demand, run even further short. Society will have to have this brutal slap in the face before the world at large will ever take it seriously.

My opponent has claimed speculative fiction as a defense, based off of technologies that have zero hope of immediately solving the problem, and little hope for the near-future prospects.

I have given you scientific evidence of it happening. I've given you reports, projections, and the math. I've given you my personal experience in a time that was only a shadow of what's to come. Even my opponent has admitted multiple times, in his own words, to this truth:

Peak Oil Theory, which states "the demand for oil will exceed available supply in the foreseeable future", is both an accurate and generally correct theory.

posted on Jul, 11 2005 @ 10:40 PM
Ladies & Gentlemen of the Judges, my opponent would have you quite erroneously believe we were both in agreement over the following statement:

"the demand for oil will exceed available supply in the foreseeable future".

When in fact numerous occasions, I argued high prices would shrink demand before it could exceed production. Also, the original definition for Peak Oil from his oft quoted source was:

“future world oil production will soon reach a peak and then rapidly decline”

It seems “soon” is a very loose definition. This is supposed to be an accurate theory yet, how many times has it been revised upward? You see, it seems that I am not the only one who has been presenting speculative fiction to support my case. The main proponents of the side my opponent has argued for, Campbell et al, have been guilty of speculating and “Crying Wolf” on more than one occasion.

Even Hubbert got it wrong, there will be no rapid decline. He failed to take into account the huge reserves of non-conventional oil which can now be extracted. He also failed to realize technological advances such as deep-boring and reconditioning which would breathe new life into mature oil fields. What sort of theory can be considered any way correct when it leaves out relevant data?

I started this debate without any hope. While I had agreed with my opponent’s argument that we are a wasteful society, as I investigated properly I found cause for hope in the speculative nature of my opponent’s figures.

Using speculative fiction myself, I presented a case of alternative technologies stepping up to the plate to replace oil. My opponent casually dismissed these technologies, despite them being well documented and currently in use. Yet he stood by his own figures from unreliable sources. Math and Science mean nothing when the initial figures are themselves unreliable.

I also found hope in the fact that we have advanced as a society since 1973. We are more aware about the environment and more open to ideas such as alternative energy sources, conservation and recycling. My opponent’s pessimism is understandable when you take into account he comes from the most wasteful country on the planet. The scare-mongering employed is only further evidence that Peak Oil, like the other problems he listed in his closing statement, is just another brick in the wall. It is part of a much, much larger debate about fear and control.

However, Ladies & Gentleman, despite the pessimism of my opponent, oil is going to be a part of our lives for a long time to come. The end of cheap oil means the end of a lifestyle, not the end of the world.

Peak Oil is neither an accurate or correct theory for predicting world energy use, just because the oil companies tell you it is.

posted on Jul, 12 2005 @ 08:45 AM
Nicely done, that went very fast. Off to the judges, please place all bets in my mailbox.

posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 07:46 PM
Well, the votes have been tallied, and thelibra has won by a margin of 9-3! He advances to Round 3.

thelibra's most impressive tactic, and what I feel truly won the debate for him, was how he consistently pre-empted his opponent's points and rebutted them before HMITD even had a chance to present them, which is a little like throwing a punch before the bell rings, but...them's the breaks. Apart from that, he was simply throwing the huge bombs he was handed from the start.

Howmuchisthatdoggy took this. Hands down.

Both opponents agreed on the theory of peak oil, which pretty much sealed the deal for thelibra, who argued stellarly and convincingly for the theory. The questions that howmuchisthedoggy raised are much more sociological and economical questions, rather than points disproving the scientific validity of peak oil. I would like to thank both opponents for an extremely interesting discussion on one of the most relevant issues facing us.


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