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Why the silence from the individual experts?

 
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newmac
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Kennington, London

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 10:42 am    Post subject: Why the silence from the individual experts? Reply with quote

I?m a cynic?obviously or I would have believed everything the government, BP et al and the corporate media tell us about PO.

I understand why the government aren?t saying anything. I understand why big business aren?t saying anything. I understand why the media isn?t saying much.

I also understand that there is big money to be made by individuals writing books, making DVDs about it, which would give some people an incentive to highlight some statistics and not others. Despite this cynicism I do believe that PO is real, is imminent and is worrying.

There is one thing that doesn?t seem to fit the puzzle. Apart from a few (see above paragraph for their possible motives) why isn?t there a plethora of geologists, petroleum engineers, energy company employees shouting about this on this and many other sites? They aren?t the voice of big business or the government, they are individuals. As individuals with knowledge I?d have expected them to be debating it and shouting about if much more.

Most people that are interested seem to be unconnected with the day to day of the primary petroleum industry.

Any answers?
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clv101
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Why the silence from the individual experts? Reply with quote

newmac wrote:
I also understand that there is big money to be made by individuals writing books, making DVDs about it, which would give some people an incentive to highlight some statistics and not others.

I don't think anyone has made big money from writing/speaking about peak oil. Even Richard Heinberg hasn't made much money from his two books, still works his day job, is still paying his mortgage off. Writing about peak oil isn't a way to make money it's a way to tell the world what you believe to be important.

I think most petroleum geologists agree with peak oil. Though they do not talk about it on forums etc, maybe most people don't think that peaking oil extraction is a large problem?
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newmac
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you may have misinterpreted my emphasis. I was trying to say that everyone has an agenda, even those we agree with could be conceived of having one.

I'm sure there are some industry professionals who have a view. It just seems that the number is not commensurate with the immanency and potential impact of the problem.
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Blue Peter



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday, I was off ill, and so listened to the Simon Mayo programme on Radio 5Live (hosted by Phil Williams confusingly), and the government's scientific advisor (Sir David King?) was on. He talked about energy security he said that North Sea Gas had peaked (used that phrase), and that oil prices were high and that he couldn't see any reason why they would come down. He implied that he was discussing energy security with the government, but wouldn't give details.

So, I think that we can conclude that the government do know about PO, and at least people around them aren't particularly shy about saying so, if not in so many words,


Peter.


Last edited by Blue Peter on Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SherryMayo



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re professional geologists,

Most will agree there will be a peak though many will argue about when. Francis Harper (BP senior geologist) has been fairly upfront about the difficulties that lie ahead (in contrast to BPs official line), though he is not as pessimistic as, say, Colin Campbell. He has also said that the peak oil debate *is* going on inside companies, and mirrors that outside in that it is company geologists vs company economists.

You should bear in mind that people who work for companies will probably have guidelines restricting them from public comment on topics which impacts on the company, that could be linked with the company by association - eg if they are identified as "BP geologist John Smith". I work for a govt agency which has similar restrictions. They can still comment as a private person but might well choose not to identfy themselves as a petroleum geologist to be on the safe side.
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fishertrop



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SherryMayo wrote:
He has also said that the peak oil debate *is* going on inside companies, and mirrors that outside in that it is company geologists vs company economists.


Yeah I read that very quote only quite recently.

I'm sure that all the restrictions on what professional people can say are in place and have an impact but I also think that the baggage that comes with discussing P/O is also off-putting for many professionals - nobody wants to loose the respect of their peers or to be derided, even if they are proven to be 100% correct.

Extra credit is deserved by people like Hubbet and Campbell for not giving a damn about all that.
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SherryMayo



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I also think that the baggage that comes with discussing P/O is also off-putting for many professionals - nobody wants to loose the respect of their peers or to be derided, even if they are proven to be 100% correct.


You're dead-right here - lots of the PO baggage would be offputting to professionals - and scientists are quite conservative at the best of times in claims that they will make (I know because I am one) - they want to see lots of evidence first - and straightforward evidence is hard to come by in this case (eg Saudi reserves etc).
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GD



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just thought I'd add quickly that I sent an article to one of my old Uni House mates, a geologist in a major firm.
His response - "Interesting stuff, and most of it true..."

But you won't find him raising awareness of oil depletion.
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snow hope



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GD wrote:
Just thought I'd add quickly that I sent an article to one of my old Uni House mates, a geologist in a major firm.
His response - "Interesting stuff, and most of it true..."

But you won't find him raising awareness of oil depletion.


Mores the shame...... it is disappointing that professionals in this arena, don't start to make a bit of noise about the impending problem. Their silence is deafening! What are they waiting for? How can we encourage them "to come out"?
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GD



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True, but that's likely the same reason I cannot go out and speak about what my company is doing (nothing energy related, btw).

I need to earn a living (at least for a couple more years!)
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