CBC Radio Interview

On June 18, André was interviewed with Colin Campbell, founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, and Michael Lynch, an oil analyst who believes peak oil isn't an issue any time soon.

You can listen to the 30-minute interview by clicking on the logo below.



For more on the history of Michael Lynch, see this piece at ClimateProgress.org in which Joe Romm shows how poorly Mr. Lynch's predictions have fared ("real oil prices flat for the next two decades", 1996 Congressional Testimony). In the meantime, Here is a short rebuttal to what he says. 

First, Mr. Lynch will increasingly be in the minority with his point of view. in April the U.S. Joint Forces Command issued their Joint Operating Environment Report warning of an imminent supply crunch. Earlier this month, Lloyd's of London issued a similar warning. The timeframe in both cases is approximately 2013, which is precisely when the oil megaprojects databases indicate we are going to have trouble. See the Peak Oil Primer for a discussion on the oil megaprojects databases.

Second, it's true that the oil industry is mostly asleep on this issue, just like the real estate industry was on the housing bubble. But not everyone in the industry is asleep. Shell is calling for a peak (PDF) by 2015, Total is saying oil production won't go above 92mb/d and the CEO of Petrobras (Brazilian national oil company) says that oil is peaking around now.. Many retired petroleum geologists are calling for a near-term peak, including Sadad al-Husseini, former Executive Vice-President of Exploration and Development of Saudi Aramco (the Saudi national oil company) and Jeremy Gilbert, former Chief Petroleum Geologist, BP.

Last, remember that it takes decades to move from one energy source to another and it can hardly be done in a crisis situation. Mr. Lynch is doing us no favors by saying what he is saying. If he truly believes the peak of oil production is twenty years in the future, he should also grasp how momentous the job is of moving us off of oil in that short a period. Instead of obstructing people who are warning the world, he should be joining us in telling the world to begin get off oil now — because we need at least that amount of time to prepare.