D. Ray Long Profile picture
Jan 19, 2018 25 tweets 7 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
(thread) Quick thread to expand on Chris' point below. People always get into trouble because they confuse Peak Oil and the Peak Oil Debate. In other words, they confuse what Peak Oil IS and what Peak Oil MEANS. #OOTT
On the former, there is and always was just one definition for Peak Oil Supply: the "max rate of oil production." It's not good, or bad, it's a number. That's all it is.
This is important because argumentation starts with common definitions and terms. Since oil is finite. a max prod rate is certain. That's why you're either with us on team "finite" that thinks Peak Oil = real. Or team abiotic oil that doesn't. The choice is yours.
Proper understanding of the definition is why you know that Peak Oil has nothing to do with the strawman of "running out" - it's actually about peaking in production. Anyone ever using "running out" either doesn't understand Peak Oil, or is actively trying to mislead you.
Also, notice how easily everyone on the peak demand side understands that it's about peaking in consumption rate and how "running out of demand" would sound absolutely ridiculous when said aloud.
So if Peak Oil itself is just a number, and has no meaning - the questions asked in the Peak Oil Debate are how you begin to draw out that meaning. These are endless questions including:
Peak timing (soon or far)? Prod rate at peak? Sharp peak or plateau? Peak due to below-ground or above-ground reasons or both? What's the effect on demand and vice versa? On prices/volatility? Does peak even MATTER to the energy economy (maybe, maybe not)? Et cetera
With so many questions, answers, scenarios, and possibilities - it's obvious that the Peak Oil Debate has a wide spectrum of opinions and views - as highlighted in this article: energytrendsinsider.com/2011/11/07/fiv…
But let's simplify to suggest that positions might fall into five categories: extreme optimist, optimist, moderate, pessimist, and extreme pessimist.
You should always use appropriate caution with the extreme optimist and extreme pessimists. Where one might suggest nanotechnology or other future tech will easily & instantly solve all problems. And the other suggests catastrophic decline with doom to the economy.
The problem is that people began to associate the ENTIRE Peak Oil Debate with the doom-filled extreme pessimist positions and lost sight of the full spectrum view.
Much of this was manufactured. If you didn't want anyone discussing peak supply AT ALL, you would actively try to paint anyone doing it as a fringe crazy person, even though the "max rate of oil production" isn't a controversial issue. twitter.com/search?f=tweet…
Why actually discuss the future rate of oil prod, when you can just shout people down by calling them "malthusian" or "theorist" or "doomsday cultist" (has anyone ever been derisively labeled a peak demand "theorist")?
And in part because of that successful effort, there was a noted decline in Peak Oil discussions until the emergence of Peak Demand in recent years: raylong.co/blog/2014/7/28…
The truth is that the spectrum of positions is as wide as all of us. All of us are constantly engaged in the Peak Supply debate. Just like all of us are constantly engaged in the Peak Demand debate.
If you think Peak Supply is a ridiculous concept, your position is still a position WITHIN the wide spectrum of the Peak Oil Debate (and more accurately, you actually think that specific positions in the Peak Oil Debate are ridiculous while probably agreeing with others).
Now compare this to the Peak Demand Debate. Imagine if someone tried to take the most extreme positions and pretend they represented the ENTIRE debate.
For instance, Shell claiming peak demand in 2021 or @rethink_x view that #Taas changes everything and will quickly and aggressively demolish oil demand.
If you got to 2022 and oil demand didn't peak, everyone would understand that it was just one position of many. No one would say "See!! Peak demand is debunked forever! Now let's never discuss it again!"
People would rightfully understand that conditions change, new information is added, forecasts are updated, and that individual predictions matter a lot less than the trends and assumptions informing those predictions.
A peak demand piece in @Ft yesterday ends with “One big picture view about peak demand is not enough." ft.com/content/13245f… That's correct. But it's a courtesy almost no one extends to peak supply as well. Why?
In summary, definitely go read what the Peak Oil people ACTUALLY WROTE like Campbell/Laharrere in 1998: nature.berkeley.edu/er100/readings…
Or watch their conference videos for historical context (because I personally uploaded them all to Youtube): tv.peak-oil.org/aspo-usa-confe…
Like this one from Bob Hirsch:
Or listen to this great overview on @chrisnelder @transitionshow with guest @masoninman: xenetwork.org/ets/episodes/e…
Or see @USGAO 2007 report on Peak Oil Supply, still remarkably fair and relevant today: raylong.co/blog/2016/4/24…

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