- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Some notes

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on August 17, 1999 at 12:27:10:

In Reply to: is hidden pseudo-conservative invective. posted by Quincunx on August 17, 1999 at 00:41:14:

: : "Few groups have been so consistently wrong yet so revered by the political, intellectual and media elite as have environmentalists. They've been predicting that the world's going to run out of coal, oil, gas, food, arable land and you name it for decades. If anything, the world's known supply of things environmentalists said we're running out of has increased. Let's look at it.

: WW: In 1914, the U.S. Bureau of Mines predicted our oil reserves would last 10 years. In 1939, the U.S. Department of the Interior said American oil would last 13 years; it made the same prediction in 1951.

SDF: Actually, Hubbert correctly predicted the production peak of US oil. Oil companies have since spent enormous amounts of money scouring America for oil, with practically no success, and total US production has been in decline for decades since Hubbert's date.

: Qx: I'd like to see the sources and references for these assertions typed out next time so as to verify them Gee. They may have been wrong but they were hardly "scares" conjured up by environmentalists. In fact the environmental movement was hardly even in existence during thos years.

SDF: Look at this link. What's at stake is whether we are to look at the disappearence of cheap oil and its replacement with oil shale seriously, or whether we are to place our fates in the hands of the oil industry with the lullaby that All Will Be OK. Check out especially the debate links. Unlike the Cato Industry, hubbertpeak presents both sides of an issue.

: WW: In 1972, the Club of Rome's report "Limits to Growth" said total oil reserves totaled 550 billion barrels. With the report in hand, president Carter said, "We could use up all proven reserves in the entire word by the next decade." Between 1970 and 1990, the word used up 600 billion barrels but, as of 1990, the word had 1.5 trillion barrels of known, unexploited oil reserves.

SDF: As Colin Campbell has pointed out on the above link, 1) OPEC countries overestimated their reserves as a whole during the mid-1980s due to the "quota wars," as countries competed for some sort of financial allotment based on their reserves, 2) not all of a particular oil field is equally exploitable. The oil companies would have you believe that each barrel from an oil field is equally difficult to extract -- it's just not true. What's at stake is that, if it takes 9/10 of a barrel of oil to extract a barrel of oil, then the barrel only counts as 1/10 of a barrel.

I've repeated this many times, Gee hasn't once paid attention -- the matter of hand is the end of the era of CHEAP oil, not of ALL oil.

: WW: Fact: Farmland lying fallow in the United States and Argentina alone could feed 1.4 billion people.

SDF: Fact: Such land will feed people only if these 1.4 billion have enough money to buy the food. World hunger, which today afflicts 1 out of every 8 on Earth, has nothing to do with total food production, which is more than enough to feed everybody; it's a matter of people not having enough money to buy food. See for instance Clive Ponting, GREEN HISTORY OF THE WORLD.

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