Oil plenitude

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oil plenitude refers to the theory that oil supplies are effectively inexhaustible for the forseeable future. It secondarily refers to arguments that oil consumption isn't causing any serious environmental problems.

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The Bottomless Well

The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy (Hardcover: ISBN 0465031161; Paperback: ISBN 046503117X). "Contrary to 'Lethargist' Chicken Littles who champion gas taxes and mileage standards, this free–market–oriented, techno-optimist manifesto insists that '[h]umanity is destined to find and consume more energy, and still more, forever.'" The authors contend that "in conjunction with our ever-increasing scientific know-how, consuming energy yields good things, including the ability to find and harness more energy." (from Publishers Weekly review; see Amazon for more of the review.)

According to John Mauldin ([1]):

Huber and Mills take a hard look at the way we normally think about energy and turn conventional thinking on its head, offering what they call seven great energy heresies.
  1. The cost of energy has less to do with the cost of fuel.... (than) the hardware we use to refine, process and use the fuel.
  2. "Waste" is virtuous. We use up most of our energy refining energy itself. Waste lets us do more life-affirming things better, more cleanly, and safely.
  3. The more efficient our technology, the more energy we consume. More efficient technology lets more people do more, and faster - and more/more/faster invariably swamps all the efficiency gains.
  4. The competitive advantage in manufacturing is swinging back to the U.S.. Steam engines launched the first industrial revolution; internal combustion engines and electric generators kicked off the 2nd. The 3rd, desktop computing, is now propelling American labor productivity far ahead.
  5. Human demand for energy is insatiable in the tireless battle against dispersion and decay.
  6. Energy supplies are infinite, even if petroleum is not.
  7. If energy policies similar to ours can be implemented worldwide, our grandchildren will inhabit a planet with less pollution, a more stable biosphere, and better-balanced carbon books than at any time since the rise of agriculture some five thousand years ago.

Some analysis of this is on David Brin's blog.