As it happens, I was pondering a 'Peak Oil Reason' claim, maybe something like:
When POIL30 or similar subsequent claim is judged what it the main reason for the Peak having been reached
Cheaper other fuels - pays 0
Government taxes/cap/rationing - pays 50
Shortage of remaining oil reserves and/or increased cost of extracting them - pays 100
Defining how that works might be tricky but maybe something can be worked out. If the government action is all taxes and no cap or rationing or similar then it may be possible to compare
(Government taxes close to judgement date-Government taxes in 2019)/selling price of gasoline close to judgement date
(Cost of extracting and refining oil close to judgement date-Cost of extracting and refining oil in 2019)/selling price of gasoline close to judgement date
Even then performing some average of G7 tax rates would be tricky and I am not at all sure about working out an appropriate comparable formula for cheaper other fuels.
Factoring out population or aiming at percentage of world energy.
Interesting ideas, but does it just add complexity to the claim for no particularly good reason? If the claim was likely to span 30+ years I could see merit in the ideas. The claim is set to time out in 2030 if oil production is still rising. If population and total energy use don't change all that much over a 10 year period then it isn't much different. Peak oil production then just seems a cleaner idea than percentage of world energy declining or oil use per capita declining.
So I am not convinced at the moment but if a majority say they would prefer one of these, I will give it further consideration.
> On 25 August 2018 at 22:32 Roland Postle <email@example.com> wrote:
> My thoughts here..
> The difficulty of identifying *the* peak of oil production is that there
> are many different reasons we might reach *a* peak. Most of those
> reasons don't definitively say there won't be a new peak a few years or
> a few decades or more later. However some reasons are more interesting
> and more oil-related than others, and are therefore more likely to cause
> long lasting peaks.
> A useful comparison might be copper or tin. I wish I could find some
> data to back this up, but presumably production of both peaked shortly
> before the bronze age collapse and those peaks were probably not
> surpassed for many hundreds of years afterwards. With the benefit of
> hindsight this was a very significant peak, but the bronze age itself
> lasted thousands of years of turbulent human history and would have
> experienced many localised copper/tin mining peaks too as civilisations
> and trade routes rose and fell. Although it would still have been very
> hard to spot at the time, the defining clue that the last peak was
> sustainable was the shift to iron use.
> Back to oil, the current biggest driver of increasing use & production
> seems to be population growth. Oil is famously price inelastic.
> Collectively we go to great lengths to get our daily fix but we have
> done for a long time now. Per-capita oil production has been remarkably
> stable for several decades (masking some regional variation) since a
> probable peak around the 70s oil crisis. World population and oil
> production rise together and so they may well plateau, or fall together.
> I think in trying to predict peak oil production there's a real danger
> we just predict a flu pandemic or significant nuclear exchange that
> causes a >5% population drop. Followed by a new peak oil after
> population recovers.
> Conversely, if attempts to combat climate change bring about a global
> per-capita fall in oil consumption & production of 10% over 6 years that
> might be a kind of bronze-to-iron signal that's very interesting and
> predictive of a long-lasting peak, but with natural population growth of
> ~1% a year it still wouldn't represent a 5% drop in total oil production.
> Even if we're interested in testing a supply-driven peak oil (as opposed
> to a politically lead demand-driven drop) population is still a problem
> because more bodies pulling smaller quantities of more expensive oil out
> of the ground could mask an otherwise clear 'finite oil' signal. (Oil
> prices would be more interesting here, if it weren't for that price
> inelasticity & associated volatility.)
> So this is really a long-winded way of saying wouldn't it be better to
> factor out world population?
> Another half-idea is to look at oil as a percentage of total world
> energy use. The 70s oil peak appears to have coincided with a temporary
> energy-use peak. In other words oil wasn't replaced in the energy mix,
> we just used less oil and energy temporarily, then transitioned to
> making more efficient use of it. Those efficiency gains were never
> reversed but the event didn't lead to a sustained drop in oil use
> because it wasn't really replaced by anything better. More recently oil
> as a share of total energy has decreased significantly, presumably
> caused by the relatively cheap cost of other fossil fuels, and with
> increasing renewable energy production. Looking at how this trend plays
> out could be interesting, but this is probably another claim entirely.
> It would rest on finding solid figures for all kinds of energy and
> pinning down what type of energy measure really matters, which might be
> * Roland