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    Hofmeister-Patzek Debate

    The video above efficiently trims the discussion to one hour. The debate proceeded as I expected.

    Former Shell Oil exec John Hofmeister tries to frighten us with predictions of high gasoline prices, reminders of lining up and fighting over gasoline, and emotional appeals that we give our grandchildren our accepted way of life. He blames a lack of political will, here and around the world, for not bringing us more oil - with OPEC the primary villain. He believes that environmental concerns, such as with Keystone XL pipeline can be handled. He dismisses the Deepwater Horizon environmental debacle as human rather than systemic error.

    In very careful academic language, Tad Patzek tells us that the technical limitations will overwhelm the political will, and that we should be more careful with the oil we still have, and learn to live with less. The availability of water limits a lot of alternative fuels. He notes that China is a weak giant, and India is even weaker due to their tenuous water situation. From an energy standpoint, he compares Americans to sperm whales, Europeans to orca and Chinese to dolphins. 


    Thanks for posting this, Donal.

    It is funny to hear Hofmeister cite defense professionals in the same paragraph where he assures us that environmental costs are "manageable" if we try to become "energy independent." Patzek does a great job of countering this rhetoric with simply bringing the whole matter back to asking what is the complete cost of production.

    Hofmeister's idea that we form something like a Federal Reserve to arbitrate between environmental and production concerns sounds like just the thing to make sure all the players will be good, really good risk managers. If that is what political will looks like, I would prefer to stumble forward without a plan.

    Central planning worked so well for the Soviet Union's energy production and environmental protection.

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