Monbiot: wrong again – ‘Peak Oil’ this time

By James Delingpole, The Telegraph

Purty, ain’t it, George?

Until recently George “Reverse-Cassandra” Monbiot was very, very worried about Peak Oil.

Here’s what he wrote in 2007:

The disasters invoked by the peaking of global oil supplies can be avoided only with a “crash progamme” beginning 20 years before it occurs. If some of the estimates in the department of energy’s report are correct, it is already too late.

Here he is conspiracy-theorising in 2009:

Last week two whistleblowers from the International Energy Agency alleged that it has deliberately upgraded its estimate of the world’s oil supplies in order not to frighten the markets…….If the whistleblowers are right, we should be stockpiling ammunition. If we are taken by surprise; if we have failed to replace oil before the supply peaks then crashes, the global economy is stuffed.

And here he is again, frightening Guardianista types, in 2009:

If we leave it any longer, and no politician seems to be taking Peak Oil seriously, then we are going to see total economic collapse.

So you might not unreasonably imagine that, were he ever to discover that the “Peak Oil” threat was nothing to worry about and that there was more than enough extractable oil to supply our needs for the foreseeable future, the Moonbat would be over the moon. Right?


Here is what George Monbiot airily declared yesterday – sounding for all the world as if he’d read neither Watermelons nor a James Delingpole blogpost in his entire life. (“We” were wrong? Less of that “we”, thank you, George)

Peak oil hasn’t happened, and it’s unlikely to happen for a very long time.

And here’s the conclusion he drew from this excellent ‘news’:

There is enough oil in the ground to deep-fry the lot of us, and no obvious means to prevail upon governments and industry to leave it in the ground. Twenty years of efforts to prevent climate breakdown through moral persuasion have failed, with the collapse of the multilateral process at Rio de Janeiro last month. The world’s most powerful nation is again becoming an oil state, and if the political transformation of its northern neighbour is anything to go by, the results will not be pretty.

Is there anything on earth which would ever make George Monbiot happy? If the sun started shining at all this summer, he’d see it as a terrifying portent of the return of global warming. If every child in the land were suddenly given a cute puppy he’d be railing against the potential toxoplasmosis epidemic. If eternal world peace were to break out, he’d be warning of the catastrophic population explosion brought about by the lack of war casualties….

Needless to say, some of the Kommenters at Komment Macht Frei have been ribbing George mercilessly about his latest volte face.

“Do you ever get bored of the-end-is-nigh catastrophising?”



So it turns out that yet another prediction of yours has turned out to be factually incorrect.

Why should you be believed about anything?”


“And the award for “finally seeing the light” goes to…
Monbiot. G.

Of course there is plenty of oil left. Next you will realise that AGW is actually just due to the earth emerging from the last ice age after all.”

Some people might find themselves feeling sorry for George as his belief system continues to collapse about his ears. But they really shouldn’t. I’ve no doubt that George is agonisingly sincere and principled in everything he does, but his Weltanschauung is the philosophy of the devil. George is the embodiment of the phenomenon I describe in Watermelons – one of those bitter, misanthropic, control-freak kill-joys, green on the outside but red on the inside, the true purpose of whose “environmentalism” is not so much to save the planet as to end Western industrial civilisation.

And over the last couple of decades, the watermelons have made a pretty good job of it too. They’ve driven up energy prices and squandered scarce resources with their vainglorious quest for renewables. They’ve driven up food prices with biofuels. They’ve hamstrung economies with higher taxes and greater regulations. They’ve generated a climate of fear and excessive caution which makes it harder for businesses to do business.

A Wired profile of the brilliant US economics professor Julian Simon (aka “the Doomslayer” ) once noted how perverse it was that while Simon was treated as a right-wing crank for most of his lifetime (despite always being right), those of his opponents (such as the catastrophist Paul Ehrlich) who kept getting their predictions wrong were forever being feted with awards and accolades by the science establishment.

There seemed to be a bizarre reverse-Cassandra effect operating in the universe: whereas the mythical Cassandra spoke the awful truth and was not believed, these days ‘experts’ spoke awful falsehoods, and they were believed. Repeatedly being wrong actually seemed to be an advantage, conferring some sort of puzzling magic glow upon the speaker.

Nothing changes. More’s the pity.


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