Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Are we running out of resources?

In short: capitalism works.


Disco Stu said...

But as any resource gets progressively more expensive its those less able to afford it that suffer.
Not quite the rosy picture he paints I don't feel.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

at one pt. oil companies in Benecia CA pretended they were out of oil in their oil reserve tanks. they would pump all the oil into offshore tankers and then 'prove' there was not a drop left onshore so drilling would HAVE to start off the coast of Santa Barbara eco concerned - be damned. (1970s)

the same goes with 'rarifying' oil today. lets just say they got everyone over a barrel and are ready to take oily crude pleasures in personal areas with any goddam hole open to them. scarce? abundant? pay for it sucka.

wasnt there some snafu with soy as energy source in europe? rare earth! water is next. the tapped "TAPPED" film gives the worst case scenario of power grabs water companies are working on.

btw i'm finally watching season 2 ep1-4 of Babyyawn 5. its pretty shitty so far. its like drama of wrong order mix up at Jamba Juice with Star Trek drek saddled with french horn tribe music. hoping something incomprehensibly horrible happens soon.

Dr Dan Holdsworth said...

Disco Stu: if you subsidise a resource (effectively plundering the wallets of many to accomplish this) then experience has shown that you rather quickly run out of that resource.

This was shown in a couple of disaster-hit states of the USA recently. One mandated price controls and limited rationing on vehicle fuels; the other simply let the fuel sellers set their own prices. The former quickly ran out of fuel and started bleating piteously for assistance, whereas the latter found that the fuel lasted much longer.

Capitalism and free (but fair) markets work better than any alternative.

Alex said...

30 seconds in.. we're not running out of resources, but we are finding alternatives as they start to 'deplete'.

havent bothered watching the rest.

thanks though.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

post rip:

until recently (past year or so) the existing fiber optic network was largely referred to as "dark fiber" (statewise) because it just sat there for two decades after ATT reported on all those tv commercials in the 80's that they were building the network.

AT&T recently expanded their U-Verse network, bundling the usual cable TV, internet and phone services. the U-Verse network is fiber optic. finally, the bill increase of the 80s makes sense

all in all, fiber optic is growing very fast. the term dark fiber isnt even used anymore, but was staple jargon in the industry just 12 months ago.

Disco Stu said...

Dr Dan - I agree with you . My poke is at the seeming premise of the video which seems to me rather "don't worry about anything running out, it will just get more expensive."

As you say, a resource WILL run out. Especially when we talk about those emplaced over geologic time scales.

lubertdas said...

Disco Stu, you seem to be missing a fundamental point of the capitalist/free market system - Supply and Demand.

As the supply of oil decreases, previously unprofitable methods of extracting oil become feasible based on the increased price. As these methods of oil production come on line, the supply increases leading to the price lowering.

The "new" price might appear to be higher compared to the "old" price from years ago, but I believe that oil is one of those things that has done well over the years vs. the inflation rate.

Here in the U.S. most of our gasoline price increases are do to the Obama administration curtailing drilling, and increased regulation.

Disco Stu said...


You pay about $3.50/gallon? Thats roughly £2.15 in real money. We pay over £5/gal. Damn right the new price appears higher.

Looking forward to the price going down due to supply and demand.

lubertdas said...


LOL! I like how you say "real money"... but you're missing another big point... the USA, despite all the efforts of President Obama, is still far more capitalist than the UK.

The big discrepancy in petrol prices between the USA and the UK is taxes and fees. The UK government chooses to use "social engineering" to limit the use of automobiles. This strategy has been attempted in the US, but has failed until recent attempts to 'backdoor' this policy by stopping drilling and exploration, hence lowering the supply and raising prices.

Neal Asher said...

It is very true. Too often I hear people ranting about oil company, bank, phone company etc profits. those same people then seem to completely ignoring that the government is taking away over half of the money they earn, and using it for social engineering. then we get the cries of 'the government should spend on so-and-so' as if the government has access to free money spontaneously generated out of the air.

The present Labour cries about the 'vicious cuts' which have only been cuts in the rate of increase in spending are a case in point. Wealth is only generated by 'adding value' and governments add none at all.