James Hamilton on the Econobrowser blog recently offered a post titled, "The Death of Peak Oil." It pivots off an article by Colin Sullivan wondering if it has "gone the way of the Flat Earth Society." Sullivan continues, "Those behind the theory appear to have been dead wrong, at least in terms of when the peak would hit, having not anticipated the rapid shift in technology that led to exploding oil and natural gas production in new plays and areas long since dismissed as dried up."
Hamilton does a capable job of dismantling Sullivan. Comments from the expert readership of the Oil Drum do excellent mop-up. Still, the exchange seemed an opportune time to re-examine where we stand on several fronts amid what I had termed the Great Disruption. This blog shouldn't be a church. It is not a prisoner of any closed-loop ideology. I don't have all the answers. We should always remember the exchange John Maynard Keynes had with a man who demanded to know why his position on a certain issue had shifted. Said Keynes, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"
After all, no less an authority figure than the President of the United States has assured us that America has a one-hundred-year supply of natural gas and his administration is fast-tracking all manner of fossil-fuel production. Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline to bring tar-sands oil from Alberta to the refineries of the Gulf Coast seems a given. The housing industry is coming back, even in the overbuilt suburbs of places such as Phoenix and California's "Inland Empire." The recession slowed "job sprawl," but hardly stopped, much less reversed it. New freeways are being built. American life is going on much as before 2008. Could it be that all the notions of a "great reset" in the wake of the crash were magical thinking?