Doom List – Listing the Worst Prophecies of Environmental Catastrophe, Part Four: “Peak Oil”

At GreenWatch we now have archived an interactive list of the “worst environmental prophecies of catastrophic doom.” It is a list of eleven of the most interesting and pointed cases of environmental activists raising the red alert, and the unintended fall out from it.

Today we discuss the theory of “Peak Oil”  the most serious of they ”Resource Depletion” fallacies, despite recent surges in oil prices, that arguably can be attributed seriously loose monetary and fiscal policy, “the bet“ remains good as black gold. Even as we saw new highs in price this summer, oil prices have declined sharply sense, today even going below the $90 a barrel mark for the first time in many, many months. Proving once again, no commidity, not even one as important as oil is immune from the basic rules of supply and demand. 

In 1956, Marion King Hubbert, a Shell Oil geoscientist, predicted that US domestic oil production would peak between 1965 and 1970 and then begin a sudden decline. The claim fed off estimates that world resources were near exhaustion. Hubbert and other alarmists have issued repeated predictions that world oil production will peak in the year 2000 or in 2003, or 2007, or 2018. That will lead to bank failures and the collapse of economies. Hubbert’s prophecies echo earlier doomsaying predictions about the exhaustion of timber supplies, whale oil, fresh water and food. In all these examples doomsayers ignore the basic economic principle that shortages generate incentives.

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