Friday, March 04, 2005


Fuck Social Security "reform." By the time 2080 rolls around, and this wildly sucessful and popular social program faces a 0.4-0.7 percent of GDP actuarial shortfall, the world's oil spigot will be running dry.

According to many geophysicists, we have already passed the peak of world oil production. The world will continue to discover and produce oil, but at a diminishing rate. The oil will run out sometime between 2040 and 2070. Not a drop left.

Given that oil is the building block for almost everything in our daily lives, from Tivo and H2s to chili half smokes, and at the moment indispensible to the world economy, one might be excused for thinking this is a pretty big deal, worthy of urgent attention of our political leaders (isn't Bush always clamoring about leadership?). Talk about a threat to our way of life.

The Department of Energy had this warning about peak oil last month:

* Waiting until world conventional oil production peaks before initiating crash program mitigation leaves the world with a significant liquid fuel deficit for two decades or longer.

* Initiating a crash program 10 years before world oil peaking would help considerably but would still result in a worldwide liquid fuels shortfall, starting roughly a decade after the time that oil would have otherwise peaked.

* Initiating crash program mitigation 20 years before peaking offers the possibility of avoiding a world liquid fuels shortfall for the forecast period.

The DoE didn't mention what might happen if we wait until after peak oil to address the problem, but it's easy enough to extrapolate from the scenarios they do present. It's going to make the modest tinkering needed to secure Social Security pretty insubstantial.


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