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Peak Oil - Bull or Bear?


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Poll: Peak Oil - Bull or Bear? (104 member(s) have cast votes)

Peak Oil - Overhyped alarmism

  1. I'm a Peak Oil bull. It's over-hyped alarmism (5 votes [4.81%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.81%

  2. I'm a Peak Oil bear. This has the potential to take down our civilisation (55 votes [52.88%])

    Percentage of vote: 52.88%

  3. Undecided. It will hurt a but, but ultimately technology will resolve the issue (34 votes [32.69%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.69%

  4. Undecided. I don't really know much about it, thats why I am looking around this board (10 votes [9.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.62%

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#1 RobertPaulson

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 08:07 PM

The strapline is supposed to read "Peak Oil - Where do you stand", rather than "Peak Oil - Overhyped alarmism" ;) which was the first choice on the poll..

I thought it would be a (vaguely) good idea to see where people stand on this issue and the likely mix of the board, although I can guess that most will be 'bears'..

Hopefully any discussion around peak oil, likelyhood, timing, implications etc. will be a good deal more measured than some on HPC and we will get a few with anti-peak oil views that stick around to make the debates more interesting.

For my 2p worth, I think peak oil and the coming energy crisis will be the defining issue of the next half century, most likely resulting in large or full scale resource wars and a radically different world once played out.

#2 Guest_Justice_*

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 09:11 PM

GW-Bush want the price of Oil to go up becuse he makes even more money from his Saudi Royal connections.

Take away petradolars and americia is done for

#3 No6

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 09:55 PM

I voted for "I'm a Peak Oil bear. This has the potential to take down our civilisation", simply because it is true. Sooner or later, the oil runs out, and I'm siding on sooner because of the lack of major finds and the fact that you can't really trust the "reserves" figures given by any of the major oil producing nations. Alternatives need to be found quickly to make this a peaceful transition.

#4 BlueSkyDreamer

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 10:04 PM

Well I voted "I don't know" not because I don't think it has the potential to bring down civilisation, but because I am not convinced it is entirely technology that will solve the situation. I still believe that their has to be an end to madness before sanity prevails. The crazy lack of consciousness over consuming has to have something to do with it. Either reduce consumption or birdflu might do it for us!

#5 sine270

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 10:35 PM

I'm a peak oil bear.

http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/

#6 DrBubb

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 11:30 PM

"I'm a Peak Oil bear. This has the potential to take down our civilisation"

I voted this, but it exaggerates my view.
I think Peak Oil will change our economy substantially, and the way we use energy. I expect peopel to drive less, drive smaller cars, with many ditching them altogether, and eventually we may organise more of our cities around public transport.

That may actually be a good thing in many ways, because we have surrendered troo much space, and too mcuh importance in our lives to automobiles. IMO, communities would provide better quality of life, if they were organised around pedestrians and street life. How many of you can think of a single tourist attraction that you would like to visit again which has automobiles at its core. Areas where pedestrians rather than cars are in control, are the areas most of us want to be.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#7 trompe le monde

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 12:09 AM

a 'don't know' here, as I don't have much background on this.

Stock conservation will help, but will only delay the inevitable. This is the US army's take:

http://www.energybul....net/13737.html

The interesting/scary part is:

The Army needs to present its perspective to higher authorities and be prepared to proceed regardless of the national measures that are taken.


Another point is that oil isn't used just for energy. Plastics, synthetic fibres, detergents, synthetic vitamins, cosmetics and paint are all oil based. There must be scope for recycling existing products, or new ways of synthesizing them, but all will certainly require net input of energy. Plastic carrier bags to become a thing of the past?

TLM

#8 Yossarian

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 09:06 AM

Am keen to see if oil bears and oil bulls scrap it out on here as vehemently as they do on HPC.

#9 DrBubb

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 08:36 PM

Y.
haha.
Do we really need that here? I think not.
But there seems to be something about the web that encourages verbal battles.
I just hope we can keep it on a friendly, and collegial basis here
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#10 sine270

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 08:58 PM

Am keen to see if oil bears and oil bulls scrap it out on here as vehemently as they do on HPC.


No, I dont think there's any chance of that. When it comes to peak oil it will (or wont) affect almost all of us in the same way. It'd be a fair question 20 years in the future though if millions have had the chance to fill 1000 gallon tanks with petrol.

#11 George Mainwaring

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 08:02 PM

It seems to me that as oil gets more expensive then there will be money to be made out of alternative energy sources. So they will be developed. It hasn't happened a lot to date because oil has been readily available and hasn't cost enough to make a business out of alternatives - or at least enough of one. This will change going forward and there may be some short term economic fallout as the adjustment is made. I don't think oil running out will bring our western civilisation crashing down however, we'll just use something else or change our behaviour as appropriate.

Society may change along the way. Working from home rather than commuting may well become the norm for office workers. Commuting becoming too expensive will just change the way we do things for example. The work and hence the economic activity will still continue.

If travel becomes too expensive we'll just do less of it, and spend more time in our local communites. This was normal a 100 years ago.

#12 magnolia walls

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 05:45 PM

No, I dont think there's any chance of that. When it comes to peak oil it will (or wont) affect almost all of us in the same way. It'd be a fair question 20 years in the future though if millions have had the chance to fill 1000 gallon tanks with petrol.


I think increases in energy prices will have the effects of extremely regressive taxation. As with house prices, the least well off will be hurt the most.

I don't think the debate here will be so bitter because there is not the same kind of inter-generational equity issue. Our current wasteful consumption of fossil fuels deprives future generations of a valuable resource but price increases impact on every age group.


I voted bear as usual :ph34r:

#13 HollandPark

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 05:55 PM

"I don't think the debate here will be so bitter because there is not the same kind of inter-generational equity issue"

An interesting point.
Also less devisive because an opinion about the property market is often taken as a threat by someone who holds an opposite opinion. In reality, I dont think it is the case, but Bulls seem to feel threatened when the Bear case is articulated- as if it could matter- but does it?

I don't think that people who think there is NO PEAK OIL crisis feel particularly threatened by those sho disagree. At least not yet. When a political agenda builds around this view, as it may do, that may changed

#14 malco

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 03:22 PM

How many of you can think of a single tourist attraction that you would like to visit again which has automobiles at its core.


What about the big auto museum in Munich? I've never been, but I've heard it's quite something. There is also the National Museum at Beaulieu in the New Forest, very well worth the trip. I'm not a fan of mass mobility either, but do like cars of before about 1980. After that they became too globalised and boring. Nowadays they are all Volvos, or worse.

Peak Oil should not take down our civilization, but I suspect it will knock the West off the top slot over the next thirty years. US and UK will sink into financial and banking crises. Our individualistic, undisciplined cultures are not compatible with the collective restraint and national focus/organisation that will be needed to deal with shortages. The basic problem is that the masses are absolutely clueless and the executives don't have the courage to admit the issue or the quality to lead us through it.

Already US drivers are getting violent at gas stations. Look at the fuel tax protests in this country. That's a foretaste of what is coming. Cars are such cherished fetish objects that people will feel degraded when they can't use them. That will be dangerous.
Will economics be single-handed?

#15 DrBubb

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 03:25 PM

I like Old cars.

And internal combustion cars themselves,
may only be found in a museum in 20 years time
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#16 No6

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 09:17 PM

Already US drivers are getting violent at gas stations. Look at the fuel tax protests in this country. That's a foretaste of what is coming. Cars are such cherished fetish objects that people will feel degraded when they can't use them. That will be dangerous.



I would not want to tempt fate, but it is a surprise that so far there has been no repeat of the fuel tax protests of 2000, despite the rise in prices at the pump. Can't be long in coming if the oil price stays this high or goes further. 1($1.80) a litre, can't imagine US drivers paying that, even with a devalued dollar.

http://news.bbc.co.u.../uk/4221296.stm

#17 trompe le monde

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 10:46 PM

I would not want to tempt fate, but it is a surprise that so far there has been no repeat of the fuel tax protests of 2000, despite the rise in prices at the pump. Can't be long in coming if the oil price stays this high or goes further. 1($1.80) a litre, can't imagine US drivers paying that, even with a devalued dollar.

http://news.bbc.co.u.../uk/4221296.stm


I was also wondering why we hadn't had a reprise of these demonstrations. The only reason that I came up with is that those that can genuinely afford it will just keep on paying. I do quite low mileage, so petrol prices at the pump could double from what they are now without really worrying me unduly, (affects on CPI could obviously be another matter, though).

However, it's possible that those individuals, that might protest may be so up to their eyeballs in debt, anyway, that any fuel increase is just rolled up into their current new loan/overdraft/MEW/credit card, and is just absorbed, unless all these energy rises hit a critical level, or IRs are hiked.

It seems that anyone these days can afford pretty much anything if they are prepared to sell their souls and borrow beyond their limit. A bank credit squeeze will affect this, but will probably hurt people in other ways (can't use one loan to pay off another, etc), before they even notice the fuel inflation. This is why IMO, that even a small IR hike could have quite a devastating impact. Anyone else got any views on this?

TLM

#18 scruffian

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 11:21 AM

I hate cars and wish I didn't have to own one, but I live in a rural area, and wouldn't want to live in the city. Society is built around everyone using a car so it is very hard not to. I am really looking forward to things changing so I can ditch the car.

The other thing I am suprised no one has mentioned is the implications for food production. I believe that ammonia, extracted from oil, is extensively used as fertilizer on crops to increase production. As the price of oil goes up, so will the price of food, and when it runs out, production will drop. This is especially worrying as the global population is still rising.

#19 Cletus

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 02:15 PM

The other thing I am suprised no one has mentioned is the implications for food production. I believe that ammonia, extracted from oil, is extensively used as fertilizer on crops to increase production.


Surely there's got to be better ways of producing ammonia than from oil. It's a natural waste product.

#20 scruffian

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 03:35 PM

Ok i was wrong the ammonia is from natural gas not oil. See here

This article also makes the point that there are other ways of obtaining ammonia, so this isn't really such as big issue as some people make out. I think there could still some cost implications though.




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