By on May 9, 2016

Gas pump evolution Source: Tesla Motors

What a difference a few years make.

Perhaps you’re old enough to remember when scientists warned us about an impending ice age. Today, climate change concerns have to do with global warming.

Just a few years ago, “peak oil” — the theory of terminal decline once we’ve reached the maximum extraction rate from known petroleum reserves — was popular. A couple of recent perspectives, however, indicate that we may not hit peak oil production and consumption for the foreseeable future — and that the price of oil may actually go down long-term.

Perhaps ironically, part of the predicted future glut of oil will be due to embracing electric cars. Back in February, Tom Randall of Bloomberg published a lengthy analysis of the sales growth of hybrid and electric cars. He concluded that while EVs don’t make up much of the global automotive fleet today, sales are increasing at double-digit percentages annually and eventually EVs will add up to a significant fraction of the light vehicle fleet. Global sales of EVs grew by 60 percent in 2014. EVs would make up 35 percent of passenger cars and light trucks by 2040 if that rate continues.

A 60-percent annual growth in EV sales would mean a drop in demand for oil by about 2 million barrels a day within a decade by 2023. Two million barrels a day is about the amount of extra oil supply that was behind the 2014 oil crash and our current low gasoline prices. Since a 60-percent growth rate may not be sustainable, no pun intended, Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance group looked at the results of more modest EV sales predictions based on anticipated component cost drops. Battery prices dropped 35 percent in 2014 and, if the trend continues, EVs should be competitively priced against gasoline or diesel-powered cars about six years from now.

Using that model, it will take longer for EVs to depress demand for oil by 2 million barrels a day, but only by another five years, to 2028. The law of supply and demand says that when demand goes down, so do prices.

As an aside, I’ll note that Randall doesn’t consider a somewhat recursive, but important, question: if EV sales mean decreased demand for oil, won’t the resulting lower prices for oil slow EV acceptance?

What about the supply side of the question? Three factors seem to have caused the current glut: increased oil production in North America due to horizontal drilling and fracking in the U.S., production from processing tar sands in western Canada, and the decision by the Saudis and other Middle East oil producers to keep the spigots open to keep up their own market share.

Two economists who study the price of oil point out that the United States and Canada are not uniquely situated with oil easily extracted by modern methods. Many countries have similar deposits. Marian Radetzki of Luleå University of Technology in Sweden and Roberto Aguilera of Curtin University in Australia are the authors of “The Price of Oil.” In a post on Scientific American’s website, titled The Age of Cheap Oil and Natural Gas Is Just Beginning, they say that as new oil extraction processes are applied to newly found deposits and older, partially depleted oil mines around the world, we could see supply increase by as much as 20 million barrels a day by 2035. That’s ten times the amount of the current increase in the supply of oil.

Of course, there will still be demand pressure while China, India and the rest of the developing world get richer as their economies industrialize and develop. Yet, even with that increased demand, Radetzki and Aguilera predict that an additional 20 million barrels a day would mean a 2035 price of $35 a barrel in today’s dollars. That low price and its attendant low profits might not be an obstacle to increased production. While $30/bbl is usually given as a price floor these days, there are some American frackers who say they can make money at that price; there may be a new, lower price floor as extraction technology improves.

Redetzki and Aguilera are not just optimistic about the price of oil. They believe that what they describe as a “geographically diversified oil supply” will also make obsolete the notion of using energy supplies as a geopolitical tool. Regional conflicts, like those in the Middle East, become less of a global problem because producers won’t have the leverage to threaten the world economy.

Lovers of the internal combustion energy can belay their fears. The voice of the V8 engine will be heard in the land for generations.

[Image: Tesla Motors]

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97 Comments on “Will EV Sales Growth and Global Spread of Fracking Keep Oil Cheap Forever?...”


  • avatar
    JimZ

    I don’t know the answer. even with oil as cheap as it is, electricity is still far cheaper. I think EVs are inherently better as basic transportation; much better to use an 80-85% efficient electric motor to move the car than a 10-15% efficient gas engine.

    the elephant in the room is power generation. we don’t have enough as it is to support a large-scale shift to plug-in vehicles, and what we do have is still too heavily tilted in favor of carbon sources. It’s too bad we can’t take a sane approach to nuclear energy; we condemn the technology because of two failures of 1960s-era reactors, and one blow-up of a hilariously unsafe design that only the Soviets could have put into production.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      It seems like every energy source has a hate group except rooftop solar. Nuclear energy has waste storage problems, coal, oil, and natural gas have a CO2 problem, windmills kill birds and look ugly in the neighborhood.

      Perhaps instead of focusing on large power generation plants – with the lengthy permitting, zoning, protesting that it all involves, the government should push and incentivize the power companies to get solar on every roof. Individual house energy production would also limit the chaos of power outages in storms.

      • 0 avatar
        NN

        dwford-exactly. this is low hanging fruit and can provide the incremental bump to our power infrastructure that would be needed. The real estate is obviously there already. There are plenty of rooftop solar calculators online that can tell you depending on where you live what the cost would be and the return on that investment on rooftop solar. I’m in Virginia and it’s about a 10 year return on investment, which keeps many homeowners from wanting to part with the $50+ grand today. I think we’re not too far off with the math becoming more advantageous, especially with more electric cars, the Powerwall batteries to store power overnight, and lower lithium/solar prices. The problem with this is the utilities will fight to keep the status quo.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Rooftop solar works if you don’t have snow covering them. The time of the year I consume the most energy is the time of the year these panels would be least productive.
          Purchase cost?
          How much electricity would they produce?
          Timelines to get a return on investment?

          Rooftops are wasted real-estate so it actually is a decent idea.

          • 0 avatar
            aycaramba

            That snow on the roof would be my concern in winter, along with 1-2 weeks-long periods of overcast skies at certain times of the year. We usually don’t lack for wind, though. I could get behind a combination of rooftop solar and a couple of small, roof mounted wind turbines to allow for production most days of the year. You don’t have to use the bird-blender type of turbine. The small cylinder-style could work, and would be less unsightly, too.

            If I built a home, I’d love to try out the theory, but I don’t think the ROI would support it, even with incentives.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Distributed power is gaining a lot of momentum. Utilities love it and lavish people who do it as they demand with huge incentives, because it costs less to pay out an incentive than it does to build a new powerplant under the rules of the presiding public service commission. Consumers like it because the companies that install these systems handle the maintenance and can often get them in at a rate that is lower than what they paid the utility, I’m guessing largely from avoided distribution costs… or even sell power back to the grid. Much of it hinges on natural gas usage, but that is better than coal. I have seen efficiencies for these systems range from the 50-60% range for just electricity to the high 80s/low 90s for heat/power cogeneration.

        • 0 avatar
          Erikstrawn

          Utilities do not love it. I was considering installing a grid-tied solar system on my home until the legislature passed a surcharge bill at the utility’s request. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/new-fees-may-weaken-demand-for-rooftop-solar/

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @Eikstrawn, stupid politicians…

          • 0 avatar
            Toad

            Politicians are not being stupid; solar users want the power companies to pay them retail prices for the electricity they produce plus pay nothing to be on the grid.

            News flash: the grid is not just keeping your microwave running; it means factories, hospitals, schools, etc can be up and running all day, every day. That costs (big) money in the form of power plants and wiring all of us together.

            If you want to be off the grid, great. But the rest of us that like electric power at night and on cloudy days may not be interested in subsidizing your environmental piety.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Erikstrawn

            Stupid, stupid, stupid politicriminals. The cheap and easy way to maintain the current electrical load while extremely long in the tooth nuclear plants are taken offline is through decentralized electrical production such as rooftop solar. I’m not an EV nut or a watermelon but any means but even I understand this. You want more private owners using their private properties at their expense generating power which can be sold back into the grid, not less.

            @toad

            “solar users want the power companies to pay them retail prices for the electricity”

            Ok so you produce a commodity with your own investment/property/equipment but you’re supposed to sell it back at a wholesale cost so your buyer can then resell it at “retail” plus fees to someone else? Why should the blue chip utility who already rapes its customers with nonsense fees get to skim additional cream from you? Because they exist?

            Here’s a new paradigm. You produce electricity, you sell some to your neighbor and the whomever owns the power line takes a 3% transaction fee. End the utility monopoly and let the market decide.

          • 0 avatar
            redmondjp

            “Let the market decide” is code for “nobody is willing to pay for the infrastructure” that they are using.

            You cannot have your cake and eat it too.

            What if the same thing happened with your water utility, with everybody collecting their own rainwater? Somebody still has to pay to operate and maintain the water supply, treatment plant, and distribution system.

            There is no free lunch.

            Now if you want to go to third-world conditions where the grid comes on randomly a few hours a day, and you have to fend for yourself the rest of the time, then alright.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            You are thinking too small.

            “U.S. electricity from nuclear energy in 2015: 19.5 percent, with 797.2 billion kilowatt-hours generated.”

            http://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Nuclear-Statistics/US-Nuclear-Power-Plants

            “There are 61 commercially operating nuclear power plants with 99 nuclear reactors in 30 states in the United States.”

            https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=207&t=3

            “The average age of U.S. commercial reactors is about 35 years. The oldest operating reactors are Oyster Creek in New Jersey, and Nine Mile Point 1 in New York. Both reactors entered commercial service on December 1, 1969. The last newly built reactor to enter service was Tennessee’s Watts Bar 1 in 1996”

            “The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licenses U.S. commercial nuclear reactors for 40 years. Prior to termination of the original license, companies may apply to the NRC for 20-year license extensions.”

            https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=228&t=21

            So the average age is thirty five years, and the Gen IIs were licensed for forty years, with an intended lifespan of forty or less. NRC has been granting extensions to plants which were beyond intended lifespan (Oyster Creek comes to mind) and had Fukushima not happened would have probably continued as such. Now you’ve got the average mean hitting intended end of lifecycle in about five years with only a few new reactors being built. The fact Vermont Yankee and San Onofre -which just had a major renovation- both shut down rather unexpectedly speaks to the future of commercial nuclear power in this nation.

            So how can the shortfall of electricity be made up? New natural gas or coal plants could be built, or in addition, decentralized power could be generated by small solar panels on the roofs of private homes which already have the hookups to the grid. Wind farms tend to be large, expensive, centralized structures just as any other power plant. Cheap solar panels can be sold to the masses and excess electricity be put back in the grid. Such a thing is feasible, and could be tested on a small scale. Consumers should be able to sell back any power they generate at a prevailing market rate.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        dwford,
        I read an interesting piece regarding the “individual” producing their own electrical energy. Essentially the outcome is the large energy providers have already started lobbying the governments (don’t which one/s) in ways to reduce or prevent consumer independence from the grid.

        One view I do recall is the shock to the world economy if a person can “off grid”.

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      Direct Injection gas engines are up to 35% efficient. Is their average efficiency as low as 10-15%? The power plants providing electricity to charge EVs are 35% to 60% efficient, if I recall correctly. The average figure is closer to 35%, 60% for gas turbines with recuperator bells and whistles. Transmission losses add a few percent. Accounting for all these factors, car engines are closer than the 15% to 85% relative efficiency comparison. It is possible to chase efficiency all the way back to extracting the oil vs building the power plant, but that’s pretty extreme. I think it is fair to consider the relative efficiency of the engines, which are the mobile discrete gas engine vs the fixed power plant. The electric motor is not an engine; it’s just a way to get power to the road.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        people need to stop quoting the peak efficiency numbers of internal combustion engines. That number is only valid for when the engine is operating at wide-open-throttle (WOT) and at the rpm where it inherently is producing peak torque.

        *That’s it!*

        you are almost *never* driving under those conditions. You’re puttering down the road with the throttle barely cracked open, and the enormous pumping losses from the engine trying to breathe through the equivalent of a stirrer straw just torpedo the engine’s efficiency.

        it’s one of the key reasons diesels have such better real-world fuel economy; they don’t rely on a throttle so they dispense with those pumping losses.

        • 0 avatar
          chuckrs

          Is the average gas engine efficiency 10-15%? And do you not factor in the efficiency of the average power plant creating and providing energy used by the EV motor?

          I have no problem conceding that gas engines are not as efficient as the power plant to charger to battery to EV motor system. I do have a problem with claims that electric cars are roughly 6 to 8 times as efficient as gas cars as that claim ignores the efficiency of the electric car’s actual engine/power source, which is most likely a remote power plant. Let’s compare like to like.
          My courses in thermodynamics are decades in the past, but I do remember that there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            I wonder how many power plants are required in the US just to refine all the gas we consume in a day. About 7 kilowatts of electricity to refine oil into a gallon of gas. My Volt just went 20 miles before you even started your engine. Remember ICE cars are heavily dependent on electricity to make the fuel they consume.

          • 0 avatar
            chuckrs

            Carlson fan – kilowatts is a rate of energy production or energy consumption. Not the same as energy. I assume you mean kilowatt-hours based on your comment about Volt mileage. A gallon of 87 octane has 32 megajoules per liter or 121 megajoules per gallon. 7 kilowatt hours is 25.2 megajoules. I get 121 megajoules of energy for an investment of 25.42 megajoules to refine it. Wish it were less, but I’ll take it. We can go far with this approach right up to asking questions like what is the energy cost of extracting and refining rare earths for magnets and the various constituents of all the various types of battery chemistry. The point of my original comment was to suggest we include analogous components in calculating efficiency. Your Volt may be twice as efficient as my gas engine powered car, but its not 6 to 8 times as efficient in energy consumption.

          • 0 avatar

            You seem to be happy to spend 25 megajoules to get 121 MJ. But don’t forget how many of those 121 megajoules you throw away when you burn the gasoline. So if you retain 20% of the 121MJ to move the car forward you only get the benefit of about 24 megajoules. The rest literally goes up in smoke.

            So you invested 25MJ to get 24MJ of motive force.

            Hmmm……

          • 0 avatar
            chuckrs

            JPWhite

            I know it doesn’t sound good, but I can’t very well drive a refinery and skip the losses.
            For electricity produced by coal or oil, the 35% plant efficiency plus some minimal transmission, distribution and charging losses result in energy utilization about 2 to 3 times as good, not 6 to 8 times as good as implied by comparing motor efficiency to engine efficiency. My baseline for that is a old A4 1.8T that has averaged 30mpg in the type of driving I do for over 150k miles, and a new Camry I4 that gets similar mileage in a larger car for the past 6k miles. I don’t think EVs are bragging up 180 to 240 mpg equivalent. When a claim is made that doesn’t pass the sniff test, it hurts the argument, not helps, no matter how legitimate the enthusiasm.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            You forget that EV’s capture braking energy and put a percentage back into the battery – when supercapacitors become mature and affordable, this percentage will go up.

            I drove 15 miles across the suburbs last week, and when I stopped in the parking lot, I had a smoke, reached down and touched my front brake rotors and calipers – they were cool to the touch.

            When my Volt is sitting in traffic, and it it’s say, around 70-75 degrees, I’ll forgo the A/C and roll the windows down a bit, because my car is not producing the heat equivalent to a small furnace just sitting there.

            Efficiency is its own reward.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    Demand for EVs isn’t just based on the price of oil. A lot of it has to do with clean air requirements, especially in cities.

    I saw a surprising number of Tesla taxis last time I was in Europe. Wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of big-city fleets (taxi, police, postal, delivery, etc) switched to electric within the next decade. Probably not in the US and Canada, but certainly in Europe and China.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Exactly. While there would be some pushback if the cities tried to ban ownership of combustion engine vehicles in cities, the cities could easily mandate that fleets operating in the cities be EV only.

    • 0 avatar

      Indeed. Clean Air requirements should be one of the driving factors for promoting the adoption of EV’s. It’s akin to banning smoking in public places. Tolerating that everyone breath polluted air doesn’t make sense when there is a viable alternative.

      Clean Air requirements are more likely to get bi-partisan support than the politically divisive climate change. The proposed mitigation strategy for both is similar so one may as well go with the most supported factor and hopefully derive two benefits out of a single mitigation strategy.

  • avatar
    dwford

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life it’s to not listen to people who say that something is forever. Like you said, we went from global cooling to global warming to climate change, peak oil to now an endless glut. We shall see.

    It will be interesting to see what happens to oil rich countries if oil maintains a low price for an extended period of time.

    As for EV’s, government mandates will push the growth in sales for EV’s regardless of the price of oil.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @dwford – global cooling was overblown by the media. The majority of scientists in the 70’s were against the “global cooling” theory and were actually starting to report the phenomenon of global warming.

      There have been reviews done of published research papers and out of 2,000 plus documents the majority support global warming. On average 97% of the scientific community agrees with global warming.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        No proof here, but if I were an oil industry exec, and was told of the idea that CO2 from fossil fuel use could cause a future disaster due to planetary warming, I’d pay a few scientists to propose the opposite.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    Peak oil is misunderstood by most people. It isn’t a fixed number. It is the amount of oil that can be removed given current technical and economic limitations. One of the good things to come out of the 1970s OPEC hissy fits, was the development of new drilling techniques. These new methods allowed us to retrieve oil and gas from dead fields, extend the usable life of existing operations, and explore areas where oil reserves were previously only theoretical.

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      No, but even if the entire planet were nothing but a crispy shell full of oil, the day would come when we’d extracted the cheap and easy half, and all that was left took longer and cost more to get. The fact that the Saudis can profitably pump oil at $10/barrel and the US shale producers are saying they’ll come back online at $50/barrel tells you what the current cost disparity is between conventional and unconventional methods. Who knows what the future holds – maybe the US Navy’s program that turns seawater in to Jet Fuel will become cost effective and oil will cease to be a source of transportation fuel – but when we’re talking about a finite resource, the peak of production will come, even if it doesn’t happen soon.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        This. It is a finite resource. Period.

        And to anyone who thinks fracking (and all other sources of additional fossil fuel) are a permanent solution, you won’t have to wait all that long until the combination of greenhouse gases, earthquakes (already triggered in the hundreds by fracking in Oklahoma) and devastation to our all-important underground drinking water make fracking a much less inviting-looking option for our energy future.

        The real question is how long the oil companies can maintain a death grip on 1) the news media, which are utterly under-reporting the industry’s bitter harvest of an already accelerating polar ice melt, already-underway death of oceanic life, and already record-smashing climb in global air temperatures; and 2) the Western world’s political system, which is now on the verge of TPP and TTIP treaties that will effectively outlaw national governments from regulating them in any meaningful way. This last point is not conspiracy-theory kook stuff but readily documented fact, and if you don’t believe it, run a search on the phrase “TPP tribunals expected future profits,” and make sure you don’t do it shortly after you’ve eaten.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          “The real question is how long the oil companies can maintain a death grip on 1) the news media,”

          I hope you don’t actually believe what you just wrote.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Per Hubbert, the ‘peak’ part was referring to hitting a point where the additional cost of the technology required to sustain current extraction rates, would be so high that volumes would decline in absolute terms.

      Well prior to that, costs would start rising, unrelentingly. Oil prices today, are still well above what used to be the norm. But it doesn’t look like they’ll keep climbing fast enough to mandate a ‘peak’ for quite some time. Chances are we’ll all have to die, not knowing whether we lived to see peak oil or not.

  • avatar
    smartascii

    One factor many analysts seem to miss when calculating future energy costs is the production decline curve on fracked wells. Yes, you can get a lot more energy out of the ground that way, but unlike conventional wells that will pump until the reservoir is dry, fracked wells are leaching oil and gas out of porous shale rock, and their production rates slow much more quickly. The technology is getting better and cheaper, and it’s not inconceivable that we’d work out a way to get conventional-equvalent production at conventional-equivalent costs, but expecting that is like expecting and EV with a 350-mile range and a 3-minute recharging time. It’s possible, but don’t plan on it any time soon.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    In March when I traveled back to Northwest Ohio for a family funeral, I was surprised at the number of power generating windmills that had popped up on family farms in areas that no one would call consistently “windy”. These were on the farms of the kind of people who voted for Ted Cruz and John Kasich.

    If something makes economic sense, people will do it whatever their ideologies.

    @Smartascii mentions the (currently) mythological “EV with a 350-mile range and a 3-minute recharging time” when that sort of vehicle exists and costs whatever family sedans cost at that point in time – you’ll have my undivided attention.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      I don’t get the “3-minute recharging time” requirement. My body needs more than 3 minutes to recharge after 350 miles.

      The obvious end-game is for EVs to recharge automatically every time you go home, or use a compatible spot elsewhere. Once that’s the case, you will hardly ever need to do a full charge.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Hell I was just piggybacking on his comment. I’d take a 15 min recharging time. I might be the last man left on earth who actually wants to be able to drive across country as part of my vacation. I’m not going to wait hours for a charge so I can drive the next 300 to 400 miles.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          PrincipalDan,

          Understood. I’ve done several cross-continent drives, one of which involved no more than a driver swap/bathroom break at every fill-up.

          Not sure I would want to do that anymore, but I understand why someone would.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      PrincipalDan

      Oh. the hypocrisy of the left.

      I remember when cell towers were fought against because of the ruin they caused to the landscape.
      Now, in the name of their cause, this seems not to matter when it comes to entire landscapes being blotted out by hundreds of these wind fields.

      Nothin…nothing depresses me more than driving past once beautiful Illinos fields now nothing but wind farm factories. County after county.

      Tell me…has there ever been a more hubris bunch than this?

      We go from protecting the snail to the OK and blessing of blasting birds and migrating animals…all because the end game is holy. Our cause is just.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        …We’ll overlook the fact that the “Illinos” fields are still producing crops alongside the wind towers. We’ll overlook the useless hypebole of “entire landscapes being blotted out.” [Citation needed] on how many more birds are proven to be killed by wind towers vs. other mitigable sources like feral cats.

        • 0 avatar
          orenwolf

          I happen to think that wind farms are super cool looking. Around here, they’re on working farms that still grow things, because they have an unbelievably tiny footprint on the ground.

          Surely better looking than a coal/nuclear plant, but they lose out to the supercool hydroelectric setups at waterfalls – those are epic. :)

        • 0 avatar
          ferdburful

          Please note that the giant wind machines are great at chopping up endangered birds and bats. They are very efficient killing machines that have been given a “pass” by the current administration and hypocritical “environmentalists”. They are ugly and they are killing lots of birds and bats. Not good at all.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Again, please provide some sources. “Ugly” is a completely subjective term and “lots of” is a relative one; only objective and absolute terms have any worth when discussing the negative effects that wind farms can have.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “Nothin…nothing depresses me more than driving past once beautiful Illinos fields now nothing but wind farm factories. County after county.”

            Nothing depresses me more than looking at all the fracking wells popping up in SW PA, and awaiting the environmental disaster that will soon result from their gas-leaky, poisonous-water, gas-flaring, tree-cutting, road-destroying-truck-traffic presence.

            Windmills are a lot more preferable IMO.

        • 0 avatar
          ferdburful

          Please note that the giant wind machines are great at chopping up endangered birds and bats. They are very efficient killing machines that have been given a “pass” by the current administration and hypocritical “environmentalists”. They are ugly and they are killing lots of birds and bats. Not good at all. Please note that feral cats are not killing raptors or bats. They are eating small song birds.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “Oh. the hypocrisy of the left.”

        As opposed to the hypocrisy of the right?

        Those are broad brush strokes to be using.

        I’d rather have a windmill in my backyard or a dam on the local river than a nuclear power plant or a coal fired plant in my air-shed.

        It is all about choices and which ones are the least harmful overall.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      Those wind turbines that you saw would never have been built without the federal tax subsidies. Go back in 10-15 years and see if they are still in operation.

      Just like in the 1970s when Carter was in office. Once the subsidies were gone, so went the wind turbines.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Old & busted: Peak Oil (maximum global usage was back in 2005 IIRC)

    Hot & new: Peak Pickup
    http://www.autonews.com/article/20160509/OEM/305099964/are-we-approaching-peak-pickup

  • avatar

    The hilarious thing to me – from a scientific point of view – is how everyone is so certain of things to come and has absolutely no anticipation of advances in technology or natural processes.

    YEARS AGO these idiots claimed “we’d run out of oil by now”.

    They never could have imagined that Hydrofracking would allow us to access oil in places where we couldn’t prior.

    YEARS AGO they claimed WE’D BE UNDERWATER AND FLOODED BY NOW.

    I’m dry.

    YEARS AGO they claimed The Earth would run out of food – never imagining we’d have such sophisticated breeding and food production techniques.

    So I guess what I’m saying is:

    These people CAN’T PREDICT ANYTHING BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WILL HAPPEN.

    Oil prices are effected by so many things that there’s no sure method of predicting them. I only hope they stay low long enough for me to enjoy my 10MPG monster cars.

    After that, I’ll gladly retire into a self-driving, plug-in, Electric-vehicle, silent, econobox.

    But even -then, I have no idea what the future of cars will be.

    Advances in HYDROGEN may make better fuel cells or better Hydrogen fueling stations. Audi may make breakthroughs in their synthetic fuels.

    NEVER assume you can predict the flow of Nature. YOU CAN’T.

    An Asteroid could wipe us all out tonight and you’d never know what hit us.

    • 0 avatar
      orenwolf

      Well said, sir.

    • 0 avatar

      Our ability (or lack thereof) to predict the future should not dampen our desire to create a vision of how things could be. It’s motivational.

      Musk has a vision, if he didn’t create that vision nothing would have occurred. Musk seems pretty adept at creating a reasonable vision when it comes to building cars and rockets. As for his vision for going to Mars, that’s further down the road and I suppose time will tell.

      While you give examples of how people got it very wrong, there are examples of when folks have been dead on. For example when I read “The Road Ahead” by Bill Gates in 1996 he predicted a future where we would watch movies on our TV’s over the internet. Back then we had trouble streaming postage stamp sized video over our dial-up modems. His predication seemed infeasible to me and I discounted that prediction as romantic dreaming. How right he was!! It seems obvious to us all now, but back then it was anything but obvious, be he nailed it.

      We have to do our best to predict where things will go in order to shape our direction.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        Another benefit of projecting current conditions forward is it sometimes provides the motivation to develop those methods that make the earlier predictions invalid. If no-one noticed these impending undesirable outcomes, would resources be allocated to change the situation? They’re not betting this will happen on long odds in Vegas to get rich, they’re projecting a path and showing what will happen *if the following conditions remain true*. Then people trying to change those conditions have something that helps allocate resources, get grants, R&D investments etc. I suppose I could say the same thing another couple ways and still not get through…

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      The scientists themselves (those I know I guess I should say) tend to be extremely sober and conservative individuals when it comes to data conclusions. I’ve never heard the bombastic claims scientific articles make from the mouth of an actual scientist. It’s not, if this happens then this will result. It’s, if these 5000 variables all line up etc etc then there’s a certain probability of a predicted result. Not sexy, hardly publishable.

      I think what’s happening is administrators and journalists are sexing up extremely qualified results in order to gain attention from grant organizations and the reading public. It applies to literally every branch of science, but mostly those that have relatable outcomes for everyday people, such as health and climate (proving my point).

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Big Truck;
      “The hilarious thing to me – from a scientific point of view”, your comment.

      I thought you were a creationist?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @BTSR – Do you save money? or have investments? Do you own a home or have a mortgage? do you have insurance policies on vehicles, health, and property?

      We all plan for the future.

      It would be incredibly stupid not to.

      Fate often interferes with our plans and plants a future we did not anticipate.

      Why don’t you stop planning for your future and let us know how that works out for you!

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      You’re a bit too hard on those with wrong predictions. They’re mostly selling entertainment – disaster porn to an extent.

      As far as oil goes, we won’t run out – ever. We’ll just use oil until the day (in 10 years, 100 years, or 5 million years) it’s too expensive – and oil is replaced by another power source. When this happens is almost unknowable – there are futures markets for those willing to match money with their beliefs.

      That said, the fracking revolution is a VERY real good in the short term to medium term. Inexpensive energy is a boon to overall human progress and well being. Nations being hurt are mostly thuggish resource kleptocracies – another good thing.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        “Inexpensive energy is a boon to overall human progress and well being”

        Yes, at the expense of the planet’s future, and the living conditions of future generations.

        We’re incredibly short-sighted and greedy if we think that the current path is sustainable.

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    I drive a big V8 powered 4-door truck; yet EVs are exciting to me.

    I think EVs will sell themselves as they become more affordable and more commonplace. The Chevrolet Bolt is going to be a good indicator of what they can do (an EV from a well-known mass-market manufacturer with an affordable price tag and widespread distribution network). Oil prices may have spurred the hybrid, but my expectation is that EVs will rise in popularity regardless of what gas costs; especially as a second/commuter car.

    EVs offer the following benefits over gas/diesel/ethanol powered vehicles
    1. Electricity is really really really cheap. No matter how cheap oil gets, electricity is significantly cheaper. Hybrids can’t make the same case an EV can here. They just lessen the amount of gas you need; they don’t eliminate it. Cars like the Volt are a good stopgap until battery tech advances. For me a Model 3 or Leaf couldn’t be my only car; a Volt could.
    2. You can “fill” your EV up at home, no need to waste time at a gas station. This IMO is a big deal. I would love never having to kill time buying fuel again.
    3. EVs drive very nice; they have none of the compromises of a hybrid powertrain and they have none of the lag of the small turbo-4’s that are increasingly common in sedans.
    4. Reliability. EVs are mechanically simple. There just isn’t as much stuff to break.

    The Chevy Volt with the charged battery is the most pleasant compact car I’ve ever driven. I’m sure most of that is due to its drivetrain. I’ve always found compacts to feel peaky and sluggish off the line. The Volt feels linear and strong; more like a HEMI than a 4-pot.

    Obviously EVs have downsides, but time will erase them.

    If GM/Ford ever offers an electric Tahoe/Expedition or Silverado/F150 with 4×4 and at least 7000lb towing capacity with 400 miles of range, I’d be very very interested. It sounds outlandish now, but mark my words; it will be here in 15 years. As it stand I think a gasoline/ethanol V8 is still the correct powertrain for such vehicles, but I’m hopeful. If GM sold an electric Terrain, I’d already own it.

    • 0 avatar
      alexndr333

      As the owner (lessee) of a 2014 Chevy Spark EV, I have a real-life experience of the electric future. It’s just fine. The Spark’s 80+ mile range is more than I need for my commute and daily errands. I have a 2008 SRX for long-distances and occasional runs to Lowe’s, but this is proving less useful than the extra insurance I pay.

      When the Spark’s lease is up in November, I’ll either buy it outright or trade it and the SRX on a Bolt. I don’t really need the extra range (and neither do most of you), but I like the small SUV utility for those home-improvement projects. For the long distance trips, I’m off to rent a car – which would allow some interesting explorations of different marques.

      Let the oil prices do what they’ll do, I’ll recharge my Chevy off the solar panels on the roof. I understand that these circumstances don’t work for everyone, but it probably does for tens of thousands of car buyers. These folks will be a big part of the car market and help keep oil cheap for the V-8 owners out there. All’s good.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      “The Chevy Volt with the charged battery is the most pleasant compact car I’ve ever driven. ”

      Agree. What I love about my Volt is how it drives. The efficiency is great, but mostly I like how it drives. In “sport” mode it is quick, silent and effortless. It shines when it comes to all the short trips I make(under ten miles). The same type of trips where an ICE falls on it’s face because it never runs long enough to warm up properly. You spend time with an electric vehicle and you begin to realize how superior they are over an ICE vehicle.

      Got 45 miles off the battery yesterday running on the highway for about 80% of the time. I had to burn gas to get back home for the last 30 miles but was more than happy with the 42 MPG it retruned. My last OnStar report said 2200 miles since I got it, 2050 of them on electricity. I’ve gotten by just fine charging off of 115VAC and often charge on the default 8 AMP setting. You charge at 12 AMP but you have to set that manually everytime you start the car.

      I’ll run that car a long time and probably get something similar or a full electric. With my towing needs I’ll always have a full ICE vehicle. But unless I’m hauling. towing or road tripping w/family I’m in the Volt!

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I think that an EV like the Volt would be a great first car for a teenager especially if parents are footing part or all of the bill. The range would keep them from driving all over the place and the operational costs would be great.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        “Got 45 miles off the battery yesterday running on the highway for about 80% of the time. I had to burn gas to get back home for the last 30 miles but was more than happy with the 42 MPG it retruned. My last OnStar report said 2200 miles since I got it, 2050 of them on electricity. I’ve gotten by just fine charging off of 115VAC and often charge on the default 8 AMP setting. You charge at 12 AMP but you have to set that manually everytime you start the car.”

        My ’15 is above 40 miles/charge (presently working on 35 with 9 remaining) since the warmer weather broke. Been driving 3 days since charging @ 8A/120V. 143MPG (gas/electric) @ 1875 miles. (I’ve been “overusing” the ICE, since I’d like to “break it in” and flesh out any issues before the first service visit).

        I found that in the winter, using the “delayed charge” option (to finish @ 8:30AM) and 12 amps results in a “warmed” battery which squeezes a bit more range due to less need for the “self-warming” load.

        My electric utility just started offering “time-of-use” metering, but it’s only during the summer, and would require me to change electric suppliers to ones that have had the shady “switch and save” promotions in the past – I’m not biting until my primary supplier offers these rates straight-up.

  • avatar

    Interesting article on this topic:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/05/what-if-we-never-run-out-of-oil/309294/

  • avatar
    Joss

    Did they factor in more fuel efficient self driving vehicles? You’d think there would be energy savings from congestion /lead foot.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Nobody knows.

    Not only do we not know how much oil there is or what many new ways will there be to extract it, we have no idea what really new energies are about to burst forth.

    BUt cheap energy is nothing to look forward to….It will not bring good things.

    I will warn, or suggest, without any control on population growth…it all just keeps getting uglier.

    OK…so the energy is cheaper. So wha. That only allows people to live further away from where they work. So soon the housing boom will return and the hated developers will once again begin their consumption of the great farms and change them all to housing.

    More houses. More streets.
    Less land.

    PLEASE enact laws requiring more control of the farms we have. Make rules about the switching from farm to housing.

    They have much greater restrictions in Europe so as to protect their rural areas. So should the US and other nations.

    To hell with cheap energy..it only allows for people to consume more of the landscape.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      ” So wha. That only allows people to live further away from where they work.”

      this is what irritates me about the area I live in. We all seem obsessed with living and working on opposite sides of the metro area. I know of so many people who e.g. live in Grosse Pointe but work in Novi, or work in Dearborn but live in Shelby Twp. and they do nothing but both contribute to and complain about the traffic. None of them want to admit that they’re the reason traffic is so bad.

      these are people who will move just to be 10 feet further away from the city of Detroit.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        A commute in rush hour traffic twice a day is a complete and utter soul-sucking, inefficient, miserable exercise that squanders life, resources (time, energy, creativity, etc.), progress, and the human endeavor.

        I think most people – even those doing a bi-day rush hour commute in a major urban area – underestimate how much such long, anti-productive, slow, miserable commutes suck the soul out of the human condition.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          hell, I live about 20 miles from work, but I hate the drive because the most direct route is via I-94 through Detroit. I’d like to dig up whoever thought it was a good idea to make the Edsel Ford Freeway part of the interstate system, and berate him mercilessly.

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      “PLEASE enact laws requiring more control of the farms we have. Make rules about the switching from farm to housing.”

      So you are in favor of taking away property rights of one class of people. My wife’s family jumped through the hoops required in New York to convert a 100 acre farm to a bunch of 5 acre house lots. They found the existing rules a considerable disincentive to residential development.

      I live on an island of about 6000 acres and about 1000 acres of that is in conservancy. Several years ago, the town voted to purchase the development rights of a 90 acre farm with water frontage and spectacular views. Cost to the town was about $100K per acre. That represents a large discount on the value of the acreage if residentially developed. This is how you do it. Don’t take away property rights. Instead provide incentive$ for conservancy. It’s honest and fair. (The farm family involved was pleased with the payout as they wanted to continue farming, a way of life threatened by taxes, which were decreased as part of the conservancy agreement.)

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        chuckrs

        OK. I didn’t think t all the way through.

        And you are right about property rights. I am big on rights. And your suggestions about incentives might work. Dunno. Just want the conversation to begin.

        But the issue is all rights are not equal. Having kids, in my nasty opinion, is one. Having children is some sort of wicked natural right that is powered by human survival…and gives not a damn about the environment.
        It is a weed like power.

        And for all our great “rights” laws, we cannot get our arms around individual conception rights. Until we do, everything else is all mish mash patchwork attempts to be all things good.

        But I have a feeling it will all work out…just perhaps not in the way the species wishes. The balance will correct itself. Be it disease or be it war or just massive lack of resources, sucked dry by human consumption…it will eventually correct.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Have you checked out the Portland metro urban growth boundary in OR? Pretty much a lab on what you’re wishing for.

    • 0 avatar
      alexndr333

      The old “population explosion” argument. The only effective control on population growth is economic improvement. Europe, Japan and the USA are all zero-population growth areas, with Europe and Japan in negative growth territory. The US is growing only because of immigration(!) So, when you trot out the population problem you must then support the growth of second and third world economies, because only when people move from poverty to middle class do they stop having more than two kids (on average).

      According to the World Bank: “Parents tend to have larger families when they fear that many of their babies may die, when they need laborers to work on the family farm or business, when they want to ensure that they themselves will be cared for in their old age, and when they lack access to education and to family planning if they want it.

      “Experience shows that three of the most successful strategies to reduce fertility rates are to ensure that people 1) have greater access to primary health care and family planning services, 2) receive a basic education, especially girls and women, and 3) have government services that help protect them when they are sick, old or unemployed.”

      In short, a weak economy leaves people and governments in poverty and therefore unable to move society forward.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        alexndr333 – exactly. People have many kids to ensure survival of their family, to ensure there are offspring to look after them when they age, and to provide a plentiful supply of labour for family survival.

        Improve living standards and birth rates will drop and so will mortality rates.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      I’m not so sure that people increasingly want to live in low-density suburbs. Of course, zoning, lot size requirements, and overall NIMBYism make higher density living difficult. As an economist would say, Transaction Costs are high in Real Estate.

      That said, Driverless Cars could revolutionize living spaces. A Super UBER could, in theory, provide all necessary transport. You COULD own your own car – but most people wouldn’t want the hassle. You could choose from limitless options – like having a car at your door in 5, 10, or 20 minutes (depending on how much you wanted to pay).

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “I’m not so sure that people increasingly want to live in low-density suburbs.”

        What I am sure of is that more and more people (who can) are moving out to the wide-open spaces of the Southwest.

        OTOH, people who still need to work need to live near where the jobs are.
        So I agree with your observation that “Transaction Costs are high in Real Estate.”

        And that also means that many are locked out of buying and are forced to rent, near where the jobs are.

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    I already pay a (modest) premium for power generation by Bullfrog Power, a Solar/wind farm. And I intend to get an electric vehicle to charge from that grid.

    My primary two reasons are: 1) because people literally die each year from urban air pollution, and I’d like to do my part to reduce that, and 2) fuel refining is “dirty” in almost every sense of the word: political, economic, environmental, etc.

    Additionally, it will be nice having the option to “refuel” in my own garage, which for 90% of my driving will be all I need.

    As an urban dweller, I didn’t get my license until I was in my 20s. My parents drove econoboxes. That being said, I also love fast – I’ve played in an RX8 at Laguna Seca and in fact bought one so I could throw it around. But finally electrics are giving me that option as well, so I don’t really see the “draw” of a big V8.

    • 0 avatar
      HiFlite999

      Gee, and I thought I was the only one to own both a RX-8 and an EV (Volt). Each is very good for which the other is miserable at.

      • 0 avatar
        orenwolf

        I gave up the RX8 this past winter and purchased a Mazda 6. It was a difficult decision. I’ve never had such a love-hate relationship with a vehicle as I did with the RX8, but the 6 is an awesome car and will carry me forward until my EV days begin.

        As much as I’d have loved to keep the RX8 *and* a second car, the realities of urban living would have made that a very expensive proposition.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    We worry about climate change and how much oil there is.

    But, how much water and phosphate do we have left?

    • 0 avatar

      We have plenty of water. It may not be in the form or location we’d prefer, but there is no shortage of water.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        JPWhite – there is plenty of water but not plenty of potable water.

        • 0 avatar

          Agreed.

          As I said It may not be in the form or location we’d prefer.

          Oil on the other hand is very much a finite resource we will run short of.

          We’ll find a way to make potable water out of non potable if the motivation is strong enough.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Why do you think oil is a finite resource we will run short of? There are more known reserves now than at any time in history.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Why do you think oil is a finite resource we will run short of?”

            I believe I read somewhere that this planet will run out of oil in about 200 more years from now. From that perspective, oil is a finite resource.

            Then again, maybe by then we’ll have an overabundance of fusion-generated energy.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    What I am trying to figure out is why a Kangaroo station near me in Jax FL just under went an overhaul and put in place a NG pump??? I am not an electric car fan however wouldn’t it have made more sense to add a supercharger instead? Does anyone still sell NG vehicles except GM anymore. I pass by there several times a day and have never seen it being used.

  • avatar
    ckb

    “Perhaps you’re old enough to remember when scientists warned us about an impending ice age. Today, climate change concerns have to do with global warming.”

    While technically true, not mentioning the scale grossly misrepresents climate science in general (as if it needed more misrepresentation). Back around the 70’s a few papers were published that got picked up by the pop news media of the day. Probably because they were the first publications to predict a climate disaster. They were quickly debunked because EVEN BACK IN THE 70’s, the vast majority of climate research predicted warming due to a man made greenhouse effect. The first such paper was published in the 20’s or 30’s.

    Unfortunately a single flawed “study” that gets picked up by the news cycle is enough to lock it in to conventional wisdom leaving a mess that takes decades to correct. We’ve knocked out freon, lead, asbestos, tobacco (knowledge-wise anyway) but comments like the quote show there is still a long way to go on global warming.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @ckb – even though 97% of the papers published on climate change are in favour of global warming, we see a huge disparity between the scientific community and the public. Only 58% of the public supports the scientific evidence.
      We are a race of deniers. We deny the fact that smoking is bad for us, we deny the fact that obesity is also bad for us. Both cause more death than our pet irrational fears of terrorism and violent crime.

      We don’t accept reality unless there is no other possible alternative. I’ve seen people deny having a heart attack right up to the point of CPR. In that context I find denying global warming is just human nature at its finest.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Where’s all the “papers” that found there’s no way to know with any kind of certainty and have to “favour” neutrality, if they’re being honest? Did they lose their funding along the way? Were they even “published”?

        Doesn’t it feel better to be part of a “team” or community?

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “Doesn’t it feel better to be part of a “team” or community?”

          Yeah, especially if they have a common agenda to pull the wool over the eyes of the easily-manipulated populace.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Denial.
            It is an unfortunate human trait.
            Part of that process of denial is to construct excuses that render evidence invalid.
            “If they are being honest?”
            Research is neutral. It is not dishonest nor is it honest. “Dishonest” means falsified results.
            A hallmark of scientific endeavour is the reproducibility of results.
            If there are over 2,000 research papers on the topic and 97% concur, then that means there are at least 1,940 separate studies that validate each other. Oh and only 60 or so that dissent.
            90% of Americans view smoking as harmful but 15% still smoke.
            90% of Americans think their diet is healthy but 68% are obese.
            People deny all sorts of things, all of the time.
            It doesn’t change the truth.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “Yeah, especially if they have a common agenda to pull the wool over the eyes of the easily-manipulated populace.”

    Conspiracy theories are part of the denial process.

    Joining the “tinfoil hat crowd” is a sure fired way to gain credibility in any debate.

    Please post all of your evidence to the contrary. I’ll even look at anecdotal evidence.

    This should prove to be real entertaining.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Still proselytizing I see. We already had our exchange of ideas. Nothing more to add except that I had a super busy day, and I’m not coming over to your way of thinking. Ever.

      We’ll be going to Cancun on the 23rd of this month for a couple weeks and I still have many chores to complete during the days ahead, so I am not on ttac much any more. Really can’t follow a thread or get involved in a drawn out thesis of your save-the-earth priorities.

      I’d be wasting my time on your philosophy of how the world should be.

      Truth is, your entitled to your ideas. I doubt they will ever come to pass in the real world. I certainly reject them.

      We each are what we are. And I’m fine with that.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        highdesertcat – exchange of ideas?

        Really?

        Having more to add would entail posting proof of your position.

        “proselytizing”

        That is a Christian trait.

        Christ was a liberal proselytizer and we all know how that turned out for him.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “Having more to add would entail posting proof of your position. ”

          Why would I want to do that? I’m not selling anything. I’m not trying to win you over to my way of thinking. I don’t have to win points or a discussion like some of the fruits&nuts commenting.

          I respect your beliefs. You are entitled to them but I really don’t care how you live your life.

          And I also understand that you are trying to reach out and engage in a meaningful dialog with someone, anyone, to publish your views. Based on the comments you throw out, you don’t get too many takers.

          But I’m not receptive to your views or beliefs because of our diametrically opposed differences of opinion on these matters.

          I can live with that. At least I actively read what you espouse, and found that we differ. I’m OK with that too.

          No further expounding on my part required, eh?

          (My Canadian brother-in-law philosophizes much the way that you do, and I can live with that. He’s part of the family, so I have to be a lot more tolerant of his ideas and ideals, or my 5’2″ sister will beat the crap out of me.)

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            If you respect my beliefs then why would you say, “I don’t have to win points or a discussion like some of the fruits&nuts commenting.”
            The passive aggressive shtick is truly amazing.
            “Based on the comments you throw out, you don’t get too many takers.”
            That isn’t my purpose but you did respond. That would make you a “taker”.
            You look down upon anyone who doesn’t share your views. “eh?”
            Your comment about your brother in law sums it up.
            “Tolerance”
            Talk about an abused and misused term.

            Once again you show your true colours and that is the sort of dialogue that supports everything I post.

            Thank you for once again shooting yourself the foot.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I’m always surprised to find that someone has actually read my comment.

            So when someone engages, like you or others have on occasion, I feel I owe them the courtesy of at least a response to what they had to say.

            So that does make me a taker, at least initially.

            But you and I have exhausted and belabored our beliefs, so there is nothing further to be gained from continued dialog.

            And you’re welcome, because I do support you in your beliefs. I just don’t share them.

            I commend you for having a position and not devolving into a condescending name-calling diatribe like some of the self-appointed drips under pressure that try to pass themselves off as the B&B.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Since those who reiterate nonsense have no objection to their repetition, likewise I will repeat the dismissal of the global cooling myth. This myth had slight justification like a brief pause in the otherwise steady increase in temperature since the industrial revolution, and the cause of the pause was understood. However organizations such as Greenpeace never made any claim about global cooling. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

    In fact ice cores going back 400,000 years show the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere was NEVER during that time as high as it is now, and no prior incease in the level increased as fast as the current skyrocketing rate of increase. We are in deep doo-doo, and a car forum in North America is where one would expect to find the deepest ignorance and denial of this reality.

    My opinion is that fossil fuel won’t become radically cheap or expensive. Regulations will decresse use, lowering consumtion and prices. Production will scale back, pushing prices upward. Consumption for certain essential transportation needs and petrochemical uses such as making plastics will maintain a background level of consumption. But all but an ignorant few know that we have to stop burning the stuff off in stupid clown cars like there’s no tomorrow. Or it’s going to be a pretty unpleasant tomorrow. Just look a Fort Mcmurray.


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