Peak oil, fracking and the fate of technological society

Been a while between posts – mostly due to ongoing shoulder problems causing chronic pain and a resultant lack of interest in doing anything that requires focussed concentration.  Now I have discovered that the physical posture associated with sitting meditation takes the pressure off the damaged areas and virtually eliminates the pain – possibly for 12 hours or more, so more blogging may be on the way.

I’ve just been reading a great post by the Archdruid, addressing the apparently increasingly widespread view that coal seam gas and shale oil fracking have solved the world’s fossil fuel dilemma by permanently banishing the spectre of peak oil and, starting with the US, have put us back on the road to endless technological progress and economic growth.  The reality, as he says so eloquently is that:

… technological progress, as well as the sciences that helped to make it possible, are subject to the law of diminishing returns; furthermore, that what has been called progress is in large part a mere side effect of a short-term, self-limiting process of stripping the planet’s easily accessible carbon reserves at an extravagant pace, and will stop in its tracks and shift into reverse as those reserves run short; more broadly, that modern industrial society is in no way exempt from the common fate of civilizations.

Click HERE to read a very well argued presentation of the evidence that the reserves can be produced using fracking and other CSG technologies are within the predicted long tail of fossil fuel reserves that would become accessible once prices were sufficiently high, and make no difference to the arrival of peak oil or the eventual outcome.

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