A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Well! Well! 'The Oil Age' gets a new lease of life.....

So 'The Oil Age' is over? Think again, folks. Previous gloomy projections were just too slick:

'Oil: never cry wolf. Why the Petroleum Age is far from over' (See: Maugeri, Science [2004], 304: 1114-1115).

Here is a full report in The Scotsman (May 21): 'Doomsters are wrong - there's plenty of oil':

"According to a paper in the latest edition of Science magazine, proven world oil reserves exceed one trillion barrels. Overall, the paper reckons that the world retains more than three trillion barrels of recoverable oil resources.

Far from oil 'running out' as some might have it, the big story of the oil industry over the past 50 years has been the way in which technological change has continuously worked, not only to yield up new discoveries but also to upgrade the size and extent of existing fields."

When will we ever learn. The doomsters get it wrong, time after time - on population, on food production, now probably on oil - and, just wait, it will be the same miserable tale on climate change. Surely we must leave them all to ruminate among themselves, with Eeyore, the Old Grey Donkey, in a boggy place, going obsessively over failed plots and fantasies, like Saruman, and watching The Day after Tomorrow over and over again. It's the film they deserve. [Give me The Lord of the Rings any day - it's more realistic! And Harry Potter is far more fun.]

And here is an excellent comment on The Day after Tomorrow - 'Science, and fiction' (Sp!ked Online, May 19):

"NASA has been accused of seeking to stifle the debate about The Day After Tomorrow, by advising its researchers not to reply to media enquiries about the film. NASA says, quite reasonably, that it does not want to do work promoting a film without coming to a formal promotional agreement with the filmmakers. Would that the broader scientific community had adopted a similar attitude, then we could look forward to enjoying The Day After Tomorrow for its entertainment value, rather than wasting time assessing its scientific credentials - which all scientists know, and most scientists admit, are bogus."

Meanwhile, the nodding donkeys look like being around for a long time to come.

Philip, oiling the wheels of rationality. Lunch.

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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