Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Is Alternative Energy The Cause Of The Drop In Oil Prices?

Many people have made doom-and-gloom predictions about worldwide chaos caused by the end of Big Oil, because the world simply runs out of oil -- you've heard it: gasoline casting $40 a gallon etc -- but what if we're headed very soon for the end of Big Oil, not because the supply is drying up, but because the demand is disappearing?

Is demand for oil going to drop nearly to the point of disappearing? (It could still be used for lubrication and plastic if we no longer use it for fuel. Then again, consumption of plastic might drastically drop...)

It might seem as if it would be easy to find the answer to that -- and that the answer would be yes, since wind, solar and other non-suicidal ways of generating energy are growing fast, and hybrid and all-electric vehicles are replacing all-petrochemical ones not just on the roads, but in the cases of ships and trains as well -- but we are told by alleged experts that the reasons for the drop in oil prices are murky and complex.

Also, the most-asked question concerning the relationship between alternative and petrochemical energy -- most-often asked in the mainstream media, anyway -- seems to be, not something like: How soon will we be able to stop killing ourselves with oil use? but the somewhat shorter-term question: will lower oil prices drive alternative energy out of the market? Nevermind whether humanity will be gone in 30 years -- can I make a killing 6 months from now by shorting alternative?

I know that suggesting that the petrochemical industry is controlling and distorting the public discourse about energy trends makes me sound paranoid to some. But research predictions about such trends for yourself, see if I'm onto something when I suggest that there's an awful lot of bullshit out there. Predictions not fitting facts.

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