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GGR333 – Professor Pierre Desrochers
Lecture 9: The Perennial Energy Debate CONTINUED
Julian Simons Legacy – changes in pes s imistic discourse. Emphasis on resource
consumption and not pollution
World is not running out of oil, but is r unning out of cheap oil
oIt will still be cheap to produce, but will be expensive to buy because it will
become increasingly scarce and it is controlled by few Middle East countries
King Hubbert 1903-1989 Main argument
oSymmetrical exhaustion curve (example: graph using Whale Oil as an example)
oPublished reserve figures grossly overestimate real reserves
oExploratory drilling as already discovered most of Earths oil
Peak oil + smart growth – Some new urbanists:
1)Fuel oil prices will soon be unaffordable for auto drivers
2)For cars, no substitute for oi l
3)Higher prices ~ less dr iving
4)Less driving ~ higher density (new urbanism)
*Book that illustrates this theor y – The Geography of Nowhere
Critics of Hubbert
oHe was right when he predicted the US oil “peak”
(but even then – the timing of his prediction was right since at that time
Middle East supply was cheap and there was US internal regulation. Also,
his prediction excluded Alaska – decline curve was much less steep than
anticipated)
oBut, wrong 3 other times – US natural gas, international oil, natural gas
Traditional Problems with Pessimists
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