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Page added on June 28, 2012

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Peak Oil Problem-Solving 101


Who knew that Peak Oil, a matter with the potential for so many adverse consequences, could be solved for so easily?!

[A]s Donald Boudreaux, an economics professor at George Mason University, explained a couple of years ago, running out of oil ‘is not as much a question of physics as it is one of economics. And economics assures us that we will never run out of oil.’
Yes, never: ‘My colleague Russ Roberts explains why in his book The Invisible Heart. Imagine, Russ says, a room full of pistachio nuts. You love pistachios and can eat all that you wish as long as you throw each empty shell back into the room whenever you eat a nut. You might suppose that you’ll eventually devour all of the nuts in the room. Their number, after all, is finite. But…the more you eat…the more difficult it becomes to find uneaten nuts among the increasing number of empty shells. Eventually, it will not be worth the time and effort required to search amidst the empty shells for the relatively few remaining nuts. You’ll voluntarily leave uneaten pistachios in the room.’
What will you do then? Go find another source of energy, of course. Just as we will with oil. [1]

Even if we accept the geological conventional wisdom, then there’s still no cause for panic. Prices will rise, yes, so people will go off and do other things. Either use something else instead of oil (that ever cheaper shale gas for example) or simply doing things that require less energy. [2]

So there! Problems solved. Just go out and find some new energy sources. No fuss, no muss. And if that doesn’t work as quickly and as easily as it sounds, then just go off and do different things. The bonus third option: just use something else instead of oil.

And all this time many of us have been urging others to plan and prepare for a lengthy and challenging transition….What a waste!

Hey! Perhaps someone should clue in the oil companies and related entities, too. Instead of all this deep-water drilling and tar sands strip-mining and freezing asses off in the Arctic, just tell them to go find another energy source. This week would be a good time: we can then use the upcoming weekend to transition away from crude oil and into that other energy source.

If weekend plans have already been made and can’t be changed, then we can ask airlines and transportation companies, commuters, industry in general—all of us, actually—to either go off and do different things, or use something else instead of oil.

Come next Monday, we can just continue on with business as usual and life as we know it. Damn, that was easy!

Might not be a bad idea to do different things to solve our economic challenges while we’re at it. Certainly we can put a damn speedy halt to climate change if we all just do different things and start using something else instead of oil. If we’re all taking those solutions to heart by early next week, we’ll have no more climate issues to worry about. Fantastic! Golf game, here I come….

No reason why we can’t give up a weekend to take care of all of that, right? Hell, we might be able to do all of this on Saturday and give ourselves a relaxing Sunday to get used to doing different things with another energy source while requiring less oil.

For all those reality-and-fact-based worriers, take a breath … and just start doing things that require less energy, okay? I’m sure you can all find an hour or two this week or on Saturday to go off and do different things so that by Monday, you won’t even notice any changes.

I have to take some time to re-think as well. A few months back, I offered this:

Anyone looking out their window and/or taking a quick peek at all the gizmos and gadgets inside would have to be completely delusional in failing to realize that almost everything we have, own, use, depend on is in some measure large or small a product of fossil fuel.
Just how much effort, time, money, planning, trial-and-erroring, marketing, producing, implementing, and transitioning to something other than fossil fuel dependency do these deniers think might be involved in swapping out this way of living for a non-fossil fuel existence?

And now I find out that the answer involves nothing more than choosing one of three very simple, obvious solutions: Just go out and find some new energy sources; go off and do different things, or just use something else instead of oil.

Next post: Time Travel in Three Simple Steps.

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2 Comments on "Peak Oil Problem-Solving 101"

  1. BillT on Thu, 28th Jun 2012 12:54 pm 

    A great piece of humor…but too many will think he is serious. “Just use something else instead of oil”. Hahahaha…

  2. Harquebus on Sat, 30th Jun 2012 8:09 am 

    If I was a whale, I would be getting pretty worried about now.

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