Robert Bradley Jr.: ‘Peak Rock’: The ONION Goes Neo-Malthusian (Fixity/depletion curse expands)

“We are on a collision course to a world without rocks. Only take as many rocks as you absolutely need.”
– Dr. Victoria  Merrill, author, No Stone Unturned: Methods For Modern Rock Conservation

“Think about it. When was the last time you even saw a boulder?” – Henry Kaiser (geologist and Onion expert)

The easy oil has been found. There are no more mega-fields. Costs up … prices up … economic stress … crises.

We have such certain knowledge from the smartest guys in many rooms:Paul EhrlichJohn HoldrenColin CampbellJean Laherrère,  Richard HeinbergChris SkrebowskiMatthew Simmons, …. and Kenneth Deffeyes.

Oil output peaked on December 16, 2005, in case you did not know it, according to geologist Kenneth Deffeyes in his 2010 book When Oil Peaked, available at Amazon in hardcover for one penny (yes, one penny!).

Deffeyes in this book updated his analysis from his previous tomes,Hubbert’s Peak (2001) and Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert’s Peak(2005).

Two quotes from Princeton University-affiliated Deffeyes are highlighted at Wikipedia:

  • “Crude oil is much too valuable to be burned as a fuel.”
  • “The economists all think that if you show up at the cashier’s cage with enough currency, God will put more oil in ground.”

Onion Weighs In

Well, the Onion has taken Deffeyes logic to a new level. Yes, rock exhaustion is hard to imagine right now, but the fixity/depletion principle is indisputably at work. The article follows:


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5 responses to “Robert Bradley Jr.: ‘Peak Rock’: The ONION Goes Neo-Malthusian (Fixity/depletion curse expands)

  1. The tar-sand and shale oil were known years ago. You may remember Dr. Teller using an underground nuclear explosion to get shale oil to flow. The wisdom of the time said the expensive tar-sand oil costing a prohibitive $40 a barrel would always be prohibitively expensive. We soon will have the XL pipeline carry the tars sands oil to refineries.

    What happened? We hit peak oil. As was true with the green revolution in agriculture, technical advances averted actual doom. But Peak Oil played out as predicted. I hope that we will use the godsend energy prudently.

    • To date I would say, there is, nor ever has been, such a thing as “peak oil”, a scare term. Technology or economic incentives will always maintain a continuation of supply. The demand for oil will rise or fall based on availability of other energy sources and on the ease of extracting it from the ground.

      • jarmo – well said. “Peak oil” was based on the idea that we knew exactly where all the available oil was located, not just technically recoverable. oil. At $40 per barrel, not only was there a lot of oil not “technically” recoverable, but technology did not permit even locating much of what’s really there. As things have changed we’ve come to understand that what we knew 30 years ago was only a tiny fraction of the available oil, and as technology has advanced, an ever greater percentage of what’s been found has become technically recoverable. We’re at several hundred years of technically recoverable oil, and we still have a lot we haven’t looked for.

  2. I assume this must be satire. As a non-reader of the Onion, I wouldn’t know, but I can only assume that anything this absurd must be intended as a tongue-in-cheek poke at what passes for science in today’s world. Only satire could possibly be this totally absurd.

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