Monday, November 23, 2009

Peak Oil? Not Likely

In this article George Will argues that new sources of fossil fuels are being found everyday and that known current supplies are not going to run out anytime soon. Although I dislike the tone of the article, particularly his disdain for, and mis-characterization, of environmentalism, I pretty much agree that oil, natural gas, and coal are here to stay for the foreseeable future. Furthermore he is right in saying that as of now we really don't have viable alternatives. Solar, wind, and nuclear technologies are simply not capable of producing the amount of energy we need.

This doesn't mean we should abandon developing those technologies further, or that we don't need to worry about using energy as efficiently as possible. But it does mean that doomsday scenarios can't be responsibly employed to motivate these actions.

I for one don't see this as a big loss. The story is the same with climate change. We don't need hysterical, and dubiously grounded, predictions to motivate us to reduce our carbon footprints. There are plenty of other reasons why doing so is a good idea.

When are we going to start treating each other like adults who can be reasoned with rather than children who need to be scared into action?


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