Kevin Fathi alerted me to this post at LifeItself, Peak oil? Nonsense! Says Daniel Yergin. It is a complement to the post on economics not being a science that I put up yesterday. It was written by Tadeusz (Tad) Patzek.
Tad is the Lois K. and Richard D. Folger Leadership Professor and Chairman of the Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Austin. He also holds the Cockrell Regents Chair #11. Between 1990 and 2008, he was a Professor of Geoengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining Berkeley, he was a researcher at Shell Development, a research company managed for 20 years by M. King Hubbert of the Hubbert peaks. Patzek’s current research involves mathematical and numerical modeling of earth systems with emphasis on fluid flow in soils and rocks. He is working on the thermodynamics and ecology of human survival, and food and energy supply for humanity. His current emphasis is use of unconventional natural gas as a fuel bridge to the possible new energy supply schemes for the U.S. Currently, he teaches courses in petroleum engineering, hydrology, ecology and energy supply, computer science, and mathematical modeling of earth systems. Patzek is a coauthor of some 200 papers and reports, and is writing five books. URL: gaia.pge.utexas.edu/
Professor Patzek begins:
Dr. Daniel Yergin has just published "The Quest," "a magisterial masterpiece," according to an endorsement by Dr. Lawrence Summers, a well known economist and ex-President of Harvard University. Mr. Yergin received his B.A. from Yale University in 1968, and earned his Ph.D. in International Relations (1974) from Cambridge University.The other endorsements came from: [none of whom are qualified in petroleum science or even any remotely related field]....So how exactly, in Dr. Kissinger's words, "The Quest, by Daniel Yergin, one of world's most experienced and influential authorities on global energy, may well become the definitive work on the science, history and economics of this most complex and important subject"?Excuse me, but aren't science and engineering qualifications still relevant in this post-1984 world? Who am I to say, a mere petroleum engineer, who has dabbled in the recovery of hydrocarbons by every conceivable method over the last 30 years?I cannot say, because I am not fluent in the newspeak, do not practice real politik, and am not aroused by the slogan Ignorance is Strength, next to War is Peace and Freedom is Slavery. Thus, I will stick with what I know well: science and engineering.Which brings me to the delicate subject of Dr. Marion King Hubbert, who is cavalierly dismissed by Mr. Yergin as "one of the most controversial" earth scientists of "his time." Being a skilled propagandist he is, Mr. Yergin must dispose of Dr. Hubbert since he wants to convert the readers to his deeply held faith in an infinite supply of crude oil (mixed with infinite amounts of gas condensate and biofuels).In fairness to Mr. Yergin, he seems to be admitting between the lines that the Everlasting Oil Plateau party is over, especially when one considers the two biggest party poopers: China and India. One needs, however, do dig deeply, and into Mr. Yergin's earlier proclamations of the glorious future to get this message. In 2005, Mr. Yergin predicted a "large, unprecedented buildup of oil supply in the next few years." In 2011, he no longer was so ebullient.But I digressed. For the record, Hubbert was a genius Ph.D. physicist from the University of Chicago, a geologist, and one of the two best American-born scientists ever. The second wasJosiah Willard Gibbs. Under Hubbert's leadership, Shell Development became the Bell Labs of the oil industry, a spectacular achievement not replicated ever since anywhere in the world. I am one of many grandchildren of King Hubbert. Academia is permeated with us: Professors George Hirasaki, Larry Lake, Lynn Orr, Gary Pope, Skip Scriven, and Harold Vinegar, all members of NAE, are but a sample.The first-class scientific contributions of Dr. Hubbert are impossible to list in a short blog. Suffices it to say that starting from resource estimates and plate tectonics to migration paths of hydrocarbons, modern exploration, rock mechanics and rock physics, King Hubbert and Shell Development he managed for over 20 years created the modern approach to hydrocarbon recovery. They also brought us computer memory, seismic processing with signal stacking, and the first significant deep offshore discoveries and development. Forty years later, the oil and gas industry is still living off of the grand discoveries made in Shell Development...
Conclusion? More "professional" obfuscation and disinformation.
So here we are with two of the most important economic factors, money and energy, and widespread delusion and deception concerning them.