$200 Oil: Motivation for Alternative Energy or for Drilling?

Original Article

A “supply crunch” will affect the world market within the next five to 10 years, the Chatham House report said.

While there is plenty of oil in the ground, companies and governments were failing to invest enough to ensure production, it added.

“While the forecast is controversial and extremely bullish, even allowing for some increase in capacity over the next few years, a supply crunch appears likely around 2013,” he added.

The future looks glum and very disconcerting if the statistic holds true, and combined with estimates earlier this year of oil hitting $7/gallon by 2012, it seems like we need to act very soon to find a way to get lower cost, cleaner energy. The problem of such a statistic of a looming energy crisis is that politicians like John McCain and most of the right can use it to say, “Hey, oil might cost $200/barrel soon, we gotta drill in Alaska!”. Meanwhile, the response from the scientific community should be, “Hey, oil might cost $200/barrel soon, we need to figure out how we can replace it!” The problem: like any other statistic, a prediction such as this can be used to serve whatever purpose we want it to.

On one hand, I’m grateful that such high estimates for oil/gas prices are getting put out, since, in my mind, that’s the only way people can start to wake up and realize that we need an alternative fuel source (or five) to replace oil, which is growing costly and has been polluting our planet for a long time. On the other hand, these stats will be parroted by those who support off-shore drilling, too deluded to realize that drilling off-shore won’t affect the oil prices for a number of years.Β 

Politicians need to realize that there is no “magic pill” solution that will fix the current energy debacle, and it’s certainly not to flood the system with oil. If we were to start drilling, it would just prolong the inevitable switch to alternative energy and our planet would be half destroyed by the time we needed to make that decision. The real solution is to start incorporating alternatives like wind, solar, and nuclear energy now, and gradually phase out our oil consumption. It’s inevitable that we’re going to go through growing pains while we try to fix our oil addiction– I’m not naive. But here’s the great news: these growing pains shouldn’t be worse Iraq’s “growing pains” (as dubbed by the Bush administration), which were filled with sectarian fighting and car-bombings.

Please comment!

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  1. Will Rhodes

    For a bit of self promotion if you haven’t found it already – go to the forums then off topic and post the URLs to the ‘What Have you Blogged Today’ thread.

    πŸ™‚ You will start getting hits and comments – also introduce your blog on the same off-topic.

    And the biggest help you can do for yourself – post on other peoples blogs.

    Hope that helps. πŸ™‚

  2. leapsecond

    Thanks for the tip. I’m not interested in self promotion as much as overall feedback for my posts… I’ve been milling around blogs, posting comments, so hopefully my efforts will be rewarded with some good traffic on here.

  3. rscme

    I agree that flooding the market with oil that can’t last in its unending supply would just give us a flase sense of “Whew, everything is going to be OK”. It’s not. There is so much more to do. I’m not sure I agree with taxing oil companies more but I do agree with not giving them breaks that other don’t get. I am not smart enough to understand all of the economics of this. I am going to trust Obama that he knows what he’s doing.




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