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February 24, 2004



That Pentagon report on climate change turns out to have been pretty speculative, more science fiction than science.

But this peak oil notion is more worrisome in some ways . . . weather is something we can effect but not control, while energy use is entirely within our control.

Earl Mardle

Hi Paul, yeah, imagine what a control system for the weather would look like. Now have a strong drink and lie down for a while.

The peak oil thing is a worry, and it has so many facets. Iran was saying in Venezuela over the weekend something along the lines of "we have to preserve our resources for future generations and to protect our own people". Hint: rather than just pump our oil to meet demand; I think they are worried as well.

But here's the kicker, when Sydney was about to introduce water restrictions last October, the water use went up. Supply and rational demand may be one thing, but as soon as you tell people that demand will be restricted, we behave totally irrationally and start hoarding (not a good idea with fuels) or in some other way "trying to get the most" out of the dwindling resource. When Australian state government talk about reducing or restricting clear felling of bush land, the rate of destruction goes up. Works every time.

That essentially means discounting the flow right into the present, and that could cause real trouble. BTW, we don't have a war on, the winter weather is slowly fading in the far north, but oil prices are still up around $36.

And in Venezuela, Chavez spent part of his weekend threatening the US that if they invaded his country he would pull the plug on their supplies.

Its not any one thing, because that's not how peak oil will happen, its just that one swallow, has been followed by another, and look, there's a couple more. At some point we know that its spring.

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