May 30, 2006

Maybe Phys Sci is good for something

In Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak, Kenneth Deffeyes writes that given that world oil consumption is 25 billion barrels per year, drilling all of ANWR would only yield 5 billion barrels which would postpone the world decline for no more than three months.Alec might say we should drill anyway because we obviously have no time to waste. I might respond that he's right about not having time...that's why we need to find a genuine solution to the crisis that does not include transforming the Persian Gulf.We cannot drill ourselves out of this problem. If we could, wouldn't we see oil companies using their record high profits for exploration (re: finding more places to drill)? Instead, we see them consolidating profits, paying off dividends, and every other business practice that signals to the ordinary citizen that the company doesn't have confidence in the sustainability of its industry. And with good grandmother said that you know a boat is going to sink when you see a bunch of rats running out of their holes. Likewise, you know the oil is drying up when you see the executives running. The question is, how soon will the rest of us be lost at sea?