Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Not Peak Oil Again.

I've examined the reports of the last 148 years.

Cantrell II has -potentially- more oil than the Peak Oilers said could ever be found.

Jack II has -potentially- more oil than the Peak Oilers said could ever be found.

Recent extraction technologies have added to useable reserves more than were ever considered possible.

Peak Oilers don't get it.


Anonymous said...


Hi, this is that promised long response to the other thread on Patrick.net “Utopia village”. Threads there seem to move so fast there have been 100+ posts in one day since you and Astrid had your little debate and I had a lot of questions so I figured I’d take advantage of your own blog to query. If this doesn’t work for you, you probably should have the ability to remove this “comment” from your blog and use my personal email (vera_kan “at” yahoo dot ca) and we’ll do this privately.

I understand how $5 gas, by inducing a recession and poor economy, can hurt transit (lower tax revenue to fund transit, less infrastructure money for new transit lines, reduced transportation demands due to fewer commuters, etc.) I also can see how $3 gasoline becoming $5 gasoline may not collapse the suburbs since yes, it’s a pinch on the budget but gasoline costs are a small part of (most) families’ budgets. But I don’t follow the assertions you made (listed below):

From September 12th, 2006 at 12:44 pm

1) You stated “Oh, and an unobvious counterpoint; transit saw its’ highest usage in 40 years at exactly the same time gasoline was at its’ lowest inflation adjusted price ever. Real transit advocates should be pushing for cheap gas but their emotional desire to punish autos in a misguided belief in a zero sum game and will instead continue to shoot themselves in the foot.”

Why? Could this be directly a cause of a booming economy and more commuters, rather than low gas prices directly equals an increase in the number of transit users?

2) You then stated “As to the housing bubble; The housing bubble is a good thing. It is a voluntary mechanism to raise municipal revenues and assures more efficient use of existing housing stock thus reducing sprawl and stimulating the economy.”

More efficient use of housing stock – because people double-up in a house? More people in fewer houses? I thought that happened in a recession when young’uns move home and you have more housemates, intergenerational families under one roof. Last I checked, the housing bubble was exacerbated by restrictive planning policies demanding low density versus high density, a lot of speculators flipping empty houses (and causing more houses to be built than there is real demand for) which will (has?) result in many never-unoccupied houses in exurbia.

3) “When the ARMs start twisting it is the cenurbs that will see the greatest impact not the exurbs. Transit costs typically increase much faster than general inflation and marginal ridership decreases in poor economies.”

The cenurbs will have greatest impact because of the ARM time bomb knocking out marginal home owners, or the cenurb TRANSIT SYSTEMS get knocked out by the crap economy? Because I’m sure the exurb marginal ARM home owners will get screwed, too, if not worse.
4) “What this means is that Kunstler has the entire end of suburbia as we know it exactly wrong. Higher energy prices will spur new energy efficient construction and demand for less congested (more) freeways and erode support for the cenurbs as jobs move to where the people live not vice versa.”

Certainly higher energy prices will force new construction to be more energy efficient. (I’m all for that). But aren’t high energy prices connected with recessions (in the short run) which will kill new construction? If people facing $5 gas demand less congested freeways, will they, hurting in this recession, vote the tax increases for new and additional freeways? Don’t more freeways eventually result in more kilometers driven, more cars and more congestion? What is energy efficient construction anyway—are you referring to the buildings? Or the layout of the cities? Because I think the latter is just as important in reducing energy use as the former.

September 12th, 2006 at 1:06 pm
5) In responding to Astrid, she said Is .1 acre SFH really better than townhouse with good sound insulation and decently planned parking space?
And you said: “No question. First 0.1 acre is a whopping 4300 sf. 40x100. Not suburban except in the minds of the planner classes.”
My house sits on a lot exactly that size and it is considered a suburban lot around here. It’s not inner city Toronto, where they typically have houses on 15’ wide, 20’ lots. Even 12’ lots. 25’ is a big honking lot in the downtown core. So, if my neighbourhood densified, you could fit two houses on one lot and double my neighbourhood’s density. (which they more or less accomplished with all those stinking 30 storey condos. I would have preferred no high rises and lots of 20’ lots.)
Later…September 12th, 2006 at 1:18 pm
6) “Of course., but you confuse cause and effect. Transit is subsidized so it does not compare directly. Using :apples to apples” transit is half as fast and twice as expensive. This is OPAC. Obsolete but still functional and relying upon political intervention for survival. Ask anyone to pay near the true costs of transit and transit in the US folds in months if not weeks.”

How many people would drive if they as a group were wholly responsible for the cost of roads and highways rather than the cost being spread to all citizens? I wonder that the subways and bus lines don’t fall under the jurisdiction of ministries or state departments of Transportation. How badly does a $500 million subway line compare to that multi-billion new highway? Or subway track, car and bus maintenance compared to endless hundred-million-dollar road resurfacing?

If roads are REQUIRED TO BE SUBSIDIZED (by taxes for their construction and maintenance) for the shipping of goods and drivers, then why shouldn’t transit systems be subsidized for the mass movement of people? If fewer people drive and highways are less clogged, don’t the shippers save money, gas and time too?

Transit is just as fast if not faster in congested zones. Hell, I can’t drive to my office much faster on a Sunday morning than I can subway it. Sunday morning drive: 20 minutes. Rush hour: 45. Subway: 30 minutes. And, I can’t drive to Montreal as fast the train will take me there – 5 hours plus versus 4 on the express.

7) Then you said: “The density imperative of 1860-1910 has long been dissapated. Where you want to live has long since supplanted where you need to work.”

I think you meant to say “Where you NEED to work has long since been supplanted BY where you WANT to live”. And that would be untrue for us. We bought where we did as a “compromise” between where we WANTED to live (downtown, better transit and close to the interurban and commuter rail station) and where I needed to work (Suburban office just outside the city limit).

September 12th, 2006 at 1:40 pm
8) Finally, as Astrid gets brushed off (am I wrong in that?) you tell her: “I know that expanding/encroaching sprawl preserves unurbanized space rather than consuming it. Is there a question?”

Explain to me how sprawl preserves un-urbanized space? The developers screamed when the provincial government brought in legislation to protect an environmentally sensitive greenbelt in the Toronto area (that would be the Oak Ridges Moraine) since given a chance, they’d happily build houses on the moraine. Or do you mean that allowing the developers to build sprawl willy-nilly takes pressure off of more distant, unprotected unurbanized areas?

Anyway, these points are what I really could not wrap my head around. To bring it back to your blog’s topic, I’m sincerely hoping those new oil discoveries (Cantarell II and Jack II as you call them) DO have more oil than the Peak Oilers think, and that ALL (most?) of that oil can be easily and profitably extracted., and as a result Peak Oil NEVER arrives. Because I don’t really want to go through Peak Oil, even if I am preparing for some of its less pleasant aspects.



Anonymous said...

Make that never occupied houses in the suburbs, not "never unoccupied".

Oh, what's OPAC?

Anonymous said...

Make that never occupied houses in the suburbs, not "never unoccupied".

Oh, what's OPAC?

Rob Dawg said...

OPAC, Obsolete PreAutomotive City

It is in post 63 at patrick.net

See also:

Anonymous said...

Peak Oil (TM) is Young Earth Creationism for those whose intellects "have evolved beyond that".

Same thing with Global Warming (TM) and Left Behind.

TJandTheBear said...

Robert, you will never get it unless you stop reading reserve reports and start reading production reports.