By WebHubbleTelescope, The Oil Drum
If we want to have any hope in controlling our destiny we have to understand our environment. In one sense, if we treat our environment as a control system, capable of responding to a stimulus, we need to understand not only its behavior, but how it will respond to the stimulus. One can ask: will it collapse in response to dwindling resources? Or will it rebound and stay resilient? For that we require a good model of the system. And of course, the simpler the model to describe, the better.
By WebHubbleTelescope, Mobjectivist
Can we actually pump faster? Upping the extraction rate under a limited supply makes the downslope that much more pronounced (the Gompertz curve). First, the good news: oil production does not follow the Gompertz curve as of yet and we may not ever reach that potential given the relative difficulty of extracting oil at high rates. The fact that we have such a high dispersion in oil discoveries also means that the decline becomes mitigated by new discoveries. As for the bad news: easily extractable phosphate may have hit The Overshoot Point (TOP). And we have no new conventional sources. And phosphate essentially feeds the world.