Peak Oil 'Cultists' Are Wrong, Says Canadian Expert

Peak oil skeptic sees proponents as catatrophist cult who ignore the potential of mankind to adapt and improvise.

Published: 30-Dec-2005

N class=body>Dr Vaclav Smil, a Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba at Winnipeg, who is also an award-winning researcher and the acclaimed author of a number of books on the subjects of energy, the biosphere and the civilization writes an article titled "Peak Oil: A Catastrophist Cult and Complex Realities," and can be viewed in PDF form here at the U. of Manitoba site. In the words of the author, the purpose of the article is to "dismantle the foundations of the new catastrophist cult" -- the conclusions by "peak oil advocates" (Colin Campbell, Kenneth Deffeys, et al.). These conclusions, in Dr Smil's view "are based on interpretations that lack any nuanced understanding of the human quest for energy, disregard the role of prices, ignore any historical perspectives, and presuppose the end of human inventiveness and adaptability." The author slams the "peak-oil groupies" with the accusation of spreading "the culture of doom," and raises the following key points to rebut their arguments, on which (the points) he then elaborates in the article.


AIADA's energy symposium yields constructive dialogue on future of mobility. Photo of 2005 Chevy Montana Sport Flex-Fuel pickup.

Matthew Simmons introduces Harvard University audience to the reality of peak oil. Photo Credit:Maggie Mastricola/Harvard News Office

'AT BREAK OF DAY all dreams, they say, are true.' So wrote the great English poet John Dryden (1631 - 1700) in his work entitled The Spanish Friar. The implication, of course, is that as the day wears on the press of reality prevents some dreams from being fulfilled. This is an article about airplanes, but it also concerns the dreams that animateprogress.


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