Thursday, March 30, 2006

Green in the head

Another environmentalist is warning us that the world may soon end.

Kenneth Deffeyes believes the world passed a very important landmark, with very little notice, on Dec. 16, 2005.

On that day, he said, the world's residents finished off the first half of the world's oil and started in on the second. Price volatility will be the norm, and if some big changes aren't made, famine, pestilence, war and death are on the way.

Deffeyes, who presented his ideas during a talk Tuesday night at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is a Princeton University professor emeritus and author of "Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak" and "Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage."

The idea comes from the work of M. King Hubbert, who predicted in 1956 that the amount of oil produced in the United States would peak in 1970, when half of the country's oil had been recovered, then start its decline. [Stefan Milkowski, Daily News Miner]
The article goes on to describe the Deffeyes’ “peak oil” thesis, claiming that civilization has "driven off the cliff," and that "we're in for a hard landing." Yeah, the same way we drove off the cliff and landed hard with whale oil.

It's amazing how environmentalists exploit ignorance of the basic laws of economics in order to sell their tales of gloom and doom. For example, it’s utterly impossible for the world to run out of oil. Let me explain.

When you have a good like oil, price signals its value. If oil is truly becoming scare, speculators can forecast a rise in future prices. These speculators start to store oil for that future day when they can sell it for more than what they bought it for.

That speculation causes oil prices to rise and any rise in price is met with rationing (that is, one finds ways to get by with less), and the search for alternatives (that is, one tries to find alternatives to oil itself). Man will not sit by and starve when it can build nuclear or hydro plants to serve its energy needs—that is if man still believes he has a right to exist in the face of the environmentalist's claims that he is a despoiler nature.

Notice though that the environmentalists never talk about the market's ability to ration goods though price or the power of price to produce substitutes. The market is freedom and it allows for people to provide for their material needs, yet according the environmentalist, it is the market itself that exploits the earth and savages the intrinsic value of nature.

That's why in my book, there's no such thing as a pro-human environmentalist. If there was, they would immediately become capitalists, fight for property rights and support man’s right to life his life for his own stake.

Yes, it is that simple, but as we all know, its not going to happen anytime soon. The egoism question strikes again.

No comments: