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04/02/2014

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rumor

I'll be that guy and ask you why you didn't mention Saudi Arabia, but only because you mentioned it first. I don't know why you *should* have mentioned it specifically, other than it being a generally important oil-producing state.

You basically asked me to do this!

Alexander Ač

Dave,

great post, thanks!

I tend to think that the biggest threat to industrial civilization is ...industrial civilization ;-)

best,

Alex

Dave Cohen

@Rumor

That was one my (obscure) inside jokes.

Back in the peak oil heyday, Matt Simmons, Stuart Staniford and many many others were waiting with bated breath for Saudi Arabian (Ghawar) oil production to crash.

Simmons is dead, but many of the faithful are still holding their breath.

-- Dave

Oliver

My mother died 12 years ago today, and I imagine I will die before the next 12 years pass by. Beyond that observation, I have as much interest in what happens over the next dozen years with oil production as which egomaniacal shitbags line up to occupy the Wizard of Oz throne in the White House or 10 Downing Street.

Does anything really matter in the end? Oh yes, I forgot. The Chart shows all is fine and dandy, so all is fine and dandy.

adam

I'm interested in the list of "threats to industrial civilization" you mention. It's also interesting that you say that oil prices are "not even... an important reason" for problems in the OECD. I can see them not being primary but it certainly seems to be a continuous stress that whittles away at prosperity. Maybe a bigger problem for those on the lower end of the chain rather than the economies as a whole, which seems to work just fine with a large class of poor people (like the US).

That said, I think you're right that peak oil is not a major concern in the near term (less than a decade). If tight oil is as available elsewhere as it is in the US, it seems to me likely that at some point other countries will experience some sort of tight oil boom. So, basically, it seems like availability of oil is not something to get your panties in a bunch over for the time being.

I would love to see your list of threats. The longer I live the more it seems like things are just going to be sucky (and slowly get suckier) but in a more or less banal way - I don't see WWIII on the horizon, climate change is a very slow burn so far (to the extent that people can pretend it isn't even happening), peak oil is not here but high prices are here to stay, and modern medicine still works despite some drug resistance.

I'm sure I'm missing something. It just seems industrial society isn't likely to take a fatal blow anytime soon, it's more of a lingering illness.

Mister Roboto

What you say about peak oil is certainly plausible on account of peak cheap oil happening more than eight years ago, yet we keep chugging along on that undulating plateau. But if we have more oil to burn than we thought we did ten (or twenty or whatever) years ago, then that only intensifies climate change. We will, after all, be using at least some of that oil to dig out more low-EROEI, high-pollution coal to burn, aside from the consequences of burning more oil. And that's pretty alarming when you realize how seriously the world is in dutch from climate change already:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/our-year-extremes-did-climate-change-just-hit-home-n70976

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