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Why cheap energy is a bad thing


In this tenth video in the series “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate” from The Nation and On The Earth Productions, petroleum geophysicist and author Jean Laherrère explains that we are in the current energy crisis not only because fuel is running out, but because its cost is too cheap. Laherrère, a former TOTAL oil company employee, used his insider knowledge to co-author a game-changing 1998 article [in Scientific American], "The End of Cheap Oil," which studied oil depletion based on the most accurate database of the world’s oilfields at the time. The article's findings were not reassuring.

Many European countries have responded to the impending fuel crisis with taxes on energy, driving down consumption with higher prices. But the US hasn't followed their lead, and the consequences may be disastrous for our collective future. “We have been living for the last 10,000 years with open space," Laherrère explains. When you have a problem, ‘go west,’ open space. There is no 'west' to go anymore. We have reached the end of the world limit."

Go here to view last week's video, Thom Hartmann talking about how corporations are fueling our peak oil crisis. Go here to learn more about "Peak Oil and a Changing Climate," and to see the other videos in the series.

—Sara Jerving

Editorial Notes: This video goes into more technical details than the previous videos in the series from The Nation. -BA

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