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07/28/2008

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Yeah, that Iraq thing really guaranteed a flow of oil from the Middle East, didn't it? Strike one.

You know the sad thing about this post, wherein you get a lot of things right? It's all about demand. The whole supply thing escapes you, utterly and completely. You've got yours, right, so who needs more than you? Strike two.

Yes, I am ridiculing you. You and your guild, yall can conserve your way to whatever position you think you deserve. You can have an Idiocracy medallion that says how many barrels you personally saved. I, on the other hand, refuse to hamstring myself, my kids and my grandkids by denying them energy. There's important work to be done, and it's not going to be done by solar or wind or corn. We will keep the good times rolling, you know, because some of us believe our kids deserve a better world, and this is America, and we've done it over and over and over. We do that, quite regularly. You might have noticed that, being the keen observer you are, and we didn't do it by conserving anything.

Just by way of asking, where in the hell did this ridiculous notion of "20 years to come online" come from? What in the heck are you talking about? Nothing, not even the most bloated moronic Democrat Senatorial hack has posited that it's going to take 20 years to produce oil from any part of our American geography that has oil. Strike three, and you're out. Stick to the Derby and panties. Don't talk about energy anymore. Seriously, don't. You know one tiny little piece of it, and that's what goes into the tank of your Honda, sufficient to provide for the needs of you and your family. If everyone were you, we'd be set. We ain't all you, though. Your needs are met by thousands behind you who require more. You should absolutely spend a little time pondering that statement.

Bah. I need to take you off my reading list. It's making me crazy.

@Scott
"I, on the other hand, refuse to hamstring myself, my kids and my grandkids by denying them energy."
What about stuff like peak oil? That’s no joke, right? We do not have unlimited supply, and getting the stuff gets more expensive every day.

Wouldn’t it be reasonable to conserve where possible and to drill where necessary? Isn’t it completely crazy to say, more or less, I will use how much I want to?

Peak Oil is an unproven hypothesis. So is abiotic oil. I don't necessarily believe either one.

Look, I'm a conservative. Conserve away. I always have. Nothing wrong with it. It's smart and it saves money. That's not, and never has been, an issue for any intelligent person.

But you can't conserve your way to growth. Me, I'm in growth mode, and I'm just a sub-atomic particle in the American economy. There are tens or hundreds of thousands out there doing the same thing. We need energy of some sort to grow and right now today, there's nothing cheaper than oil.

But hey, give me a truck that runs on an unlimited supply of unicorn blood and I'll drive that to deliver my goods and services.

Apparently you just like to pick out whatever meaning you want, so let me expand on my little tongue and cheek post here.

There is this little law that I like to call supply and demand. We've discussed it, and yes, American demand is down. However, the world's demand is up.

"World oil consumption continues to grow despite 7 consecutive years of rising prices. Preliminary data indicate that world oil consumption during the first half of 2008 rose by roughly 520,000 bbl/d compared with year-earlier levels."

Which means that our little bit of conservation doesn't amount to a hill of beans when it comes to world oil prices.

In other words, American usage has been steadily declining for the last year, but prices have been steadily increasing, so why the sudden drop in prices? It must have been those magic words.

We all know that pure supply and demand is not the only factor in driving up prices. There is the artificial restriction on supply imposed on us by our government, and also the upward pressure from speculation. The speculators are constantly betting on higher prices, because there has been no indication that there would be a world-wide decline in demand, nor a subsequent increase in supply. It's a win-win for them. However, President Bush took the first step in increasing supply, which causes a little bit of uncertainty for the speculators. Couple that with the Republicans in congress finally growing some balls and refusing to pass anything until they vote on domestic drilling, and now the speculators don't know what's going to happen, and voila, prices drop.

Like I said in my post, if just taking this small step dropped prices by $.42/gallon, how much affect would it have to actually start pumping the damn oil? I bet we could even get it back down to levels pre-Reid/Pelosi, which would be a happy thing for me.

We may or may not be able to drill oil for the next thousand years, but where we are differing here is the same point that my sister-in-law and I differed on; the role of government. I don't think it's the government's job to artifically choke supply and drive up prices to force me into their acceptable lifestyle. It's none of their fucking business how much or where I drive. If I want to start my car and let it run in the driveway all day, I'll do it and they can kiss my ass if they think they can tell me otherwise. But that is exactly what you (the small government liberal) and most others on the left are advocating. That for the common good the government should keep screwing us out of more and more money by way of higher oil prices so we can all learn to be good citizens and drive electric cars or better yet, let's all walk.

Well I am not one to lay down and take it. I don't like being told what to do. I never have.

First off, I think the only "magic words" that President Bush could say are "See ya" as he has his last ride on Air Force One when he leaves office.

Secondly, most people of the world are ignorant of economics. It's a pretty exact science. OPEC has controlled the price of crude oil for many years by controlling the available supply of the stuff. Recently they have be aided by the speculators, but that's another economic subject. We in the good ole USA have responded by driving less, thereby causing the available quantity of oil to increase and driving the price down.

No matter what your detractors say, Mr. Ambivalent, That's an economic truth.

@Scott
Oil will run out sooner or later. There really is no way around that. There is also no such thing as free lunch. The problems we are facing are huge and by no means easy to solve. If peak oil is too ideologically charged for you, how about: if you got half of the oil out of the earth prices are gonna’ rise, and they will rise fast, as will the cost of getting the oil out of the earth in the first place. Up to a point where getting oil out of the earth will no more pay off (even if there is still much down there) – both economically and ecologically. What good is all that energy from oil if you have to put in as much energy to get it up in the first place?

A little illustration. The red line is what was found (Maximum in 1965!), the black line is the production and the dotted blue line is what we would need if we assume a 2% increase p.a. in demand. No, just using less oil probably won’t get you out of this ditch. Prices will rise. You are facing huge economic problems, the world faces huge economic problems. Do you really think that the right answer for that is drilling for even more dope? For some short-term benefits because you are in growth mode right now? I think it’s slightly cynical to argue that you do that for your grand kids.

Micheal, I understand as well as anybody what cost of production means. I'm from Texas. It's in my blood. I question whether you do, though. What if you put a portable cold fusion reactor next to each drilling rig and oil pump? Hey, look, cheap to drill, cheap to pump. Of course, by the time we have portable cold fusion reactors, we likely won't need any more oil. But who knows? Who can predict? You're asking me to just lay my head down on the desk and give up. Ain't gonna do it.

I like your picture, but with no sourcing, no context, it's just a graph I could make on my own desktop. Seriously, so what? There's plenty of graphs on blogs on the internet, but they don't mean anything. I've got 5 geophysicists I could call right now and give me 5 more graphs proving that one you have is wrong.

So yeah, my answer is drill for more dope. Meanwhile, we'll do what we've always freaking done, and improve drilling and extraction technologies, make 'em more efficient. Those guys aren't going to lay their heads down on their desks, I know.

Meanwhile, you quit using it. You put your head down on your desk. You stop growing. Or, maybe you can quit wagging your finger about our demands for energy and put your big brain to work on those portable cold fusion reactors. Something helpful, not detrimental. Something hopeful, not cynical.

Nah, nobody said anything about stopping to use oil. Just getting it – whatever the price – seems wrong at this point. Throwing away regulation just because of short term benefits seems like not quite the right strategy.

What good is growing now, but not being able to do just that in the future? Hoping for further technological advancement is all well, but that doesn’t stop you from planning for the future now. What if fusion won’t work? What if fusion works – but only as late as 2075? Those challenges that we will face are by no means already lost. We can win but we will have to do the right thing. Urban planning, public transportation, better technology, strategies to use less energy, you name it. Lifting regulation on drilling oil seems awfully like a superficial short term solution.

(Sorry, I can only provide you with a link to the German research report I took this diagram from. If you speak German … You may like that they recommend improving exploration technology. But not as a solution to the problem, rather as a way to dampen the effects.)

Just getting it – whatever the price – seems wrong at this point.

Seems? It seems wrong that Mariah Carey doesn't love me.

I'll take a pass on all the Euro-style central planning, thanks. Take away the regulations, let the wildcats do what they do, and let's see what happens. How about just once giving it a shot? It worked before. And, well, we know what central planning produces. It's not growth. It's not America.

(I don't read German that well...been too long. But there are plenty of English-speaking alarmists running around, should I wish to cower in the corner.)

"I'll take a pass on all the Euro-style central planning, thanks."

Well, that’s what I call a straw man.

Really? Urban planning, public transportation What's that?

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