The predictions of the end of oil have been going on for most of the last century. Just over 100 years ago, the U.S. Bureau of Mines estimated total future production at 6 billion barrels, yet we’ve produced more than twenty times that amount. In 1939 the Department of the Interior predicted US oil supplies would last thirteen years. I could go on. The wonder is that smart people like Nobel prize winners Krugman and Obama haven’t learned anything from history and instead keep regurgitating these myths about “running out.” Today we have twice as many reserves as we had in 1950. And we have already produced almost ten times more oil than the government told us we had back then. My mentor Julian Simon and Herman Kahn challenged this conventional wisdom. Today they would be disparaged as “deniers.” Yet on ever score these iconoclasts were right and the green scientific consensus was wrong. –Stephen Moore, Town Hall, 28 December 2015
The concept of ‘peak oil’ was just wishful thinking on the part of the green lobby, which wanted us to be forced to stop burning fossil fuels. While I didn’t quite fall for the myth, the Government did. As a result, we’ve been left with a national energy policy that assumes fossil fuel prices can only rise. Huge subsidies — running at £3.4 billion a year — have been paid to subsidise solar, wind and other renewable energy. With the exception of Britain hardly any countries have legally committed themselves to reducing emissions. When it comes to the crunch, does anyone really think they will do as we have done: force their industries to drop fossil fuels and buy much more expensive green energy, thus losing competitive advantage? –Ross Clark, Daily Mail, 16 Januray 2016
The Government was today accused of ‘sitting on its hands’ as Britain’s steel industry entered a ‘death spiral’ after another 1,000 jobs were axed. Since August 5,000 steel workers have been made redundant – one in six jobs in the industry – as it struggles to cope with rising energy costs and a glut of cheap Chinese imports. –Martin Robinson, Daily Mail, 18 January 2016
Over the last 55 years, the world’s population has increased by 143 percent. Over the same time period, real average annual per capita income in the world rose by 163 percent. What happened to the price of commodities? Taken together, commodities rose by 43 percent. If energy and precious metals are excluded, they declined by 16 percent. Assuming that an average inhabitant of the world spent exactly the same fraction of her income on the World Bank’s list of commodities in 1960 and in 2015, she would be better off under either scenario, since her income rose by 163 percent over the same time period. This course of events was predicted by the contrarian economist Julian Simon some 35 years ago. In The Ultimate Resource, Simon noted that humans are intelligent animals, who innovate their way out of scarcity. –Marian Tupy, Reason, 12 January 2016
Many economists foresee another half-century of cheap oil, but a growing contingent of geologists warns that oil will begin to run out much sooner–perhaps in only 10 years. These pessimists gained a powerful ally this spring when the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported for the first time that the peak of world oil production is in sight. Sometime between 2010 and 2020 the gush of oil from wells around the world will peak at 80 million barrels per day, then begin a steady, inevitable decline, the report says. –Richard A. Kerr, Science 21 August 1998
Until 2008, many Republicans, including then-presidential nominee John McCain, supported cap-and-trade to address climate change. Once Mr. Obama won the White House, Republicans swiftly unified against nearly all of his initiatives, including a cap-and-trade bill that would have set limits on carbon emissions and allowed companies to trade pollution credits to comply. Responding to what they call big-government overreach by Mr. Obama, many Republicans have moved to the right on several other issues as well, including illegal immigration, health-insurance mandates and the Common Core academic standards. GOP candidates who had generally accepted the scientific consensus on man-made climate change, have said recently that it is unclear how much, if at all, humans are contributing to warmer temperatures. –Amy Harder and Beth Reinhard, The Wall Street Journal, 16 January 2016
Have you met the Stepford students? They’re everywhere. On campuses across the land. Sitting stony-eyed in lecture halls or surreptitiously policing beer-fuelled banter in the uni bar. They look like students, dress like students, smell like students. But their student brains have been replaced by brains bereft of critical faculties and programmed to conform. If your go-to image of a student is someone who’s free-spirited and open-minded, who loves having a pop at orthodoxies, then you urgently need to update your mind’s picture bank. Students are now pretty much the opposite of that. It’s hard to think of any other section of society that has undergone as epic a transformation as students have. From freewheelin’ to ban-happy, from askers of awkward questions to suppressors of offensive speech, in the space of a generation. –Brendan O’Neill, The Spectator, 18 January 2016
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