A Free-Market Energy Blog

“Energy and Society” Course (Part IV: The Perennial Energy Debate)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 3, 2019

This is the final installment of the course syllabus of Pierre Desrochers’ Energy and Society class.

Part I explored the course description as well as the videos and readings from the first two weeks of the class; Part II covered carbon-based energy. Part III yesterday was on electricity generated from non-carbon sources (Hydro, Nuclear, Renewables, Biomass).

Population Growth, Resources and the Environment
Deffeyes, Kenneth, Peter Huber. 2005. “It’s the End of Oil / Oil Is Here to Stay.” Time, October 23.

Ellis, Erle C. 2012. “Overpopulation is not the problem.” The New York Times (September 13).  

Pearce, Fred. 2010. “The overpopulation myth.” Prospect Magazine, March 8.

Ridley, Matt. 2014. “Why Most Resources don’t Run Out.” Rational Optimist (April 30). 

Mann, Charles. 2013. “What if We Never Run Out of Oil?” The Atlantic (May).  

 Jevons Paradox
Encyclopedia of Earth
– Jevons Paradox 

Stott, Philip. 2008. “The Jevons’ Paradox.” Global Warming Politics, February 12.

Hertwich, Edgar. 2012. “Jevons Paradox or Not? The Myth of Resource Efficiency: The Jevons Paradox by John M. Polimeni, Kozo Mayumi, Mario Giampietro and Blake Alcott Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Consumption edited by Horace Herring and Steve Sorrell.” Journal of Industrial Ecology 16 (3) (June): 453-454.

Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus (Tertullian). Approximately 203 AD. “On the Soul.” Chapter 30.

Rose, Morgan. 2002. “In Defense of Malthus.” Library of Economics and Liberty (September 16). 

McLemee, Scott. 2015. “Past Its Peak.” Inside Higher Ed (November 4).  

The Oil Drum  
– Three Nails in the Coffin of Peak Oil 
– Bardi, Ugo. 2008. “Crude Oil: how high can it go? (19th century whaling as a model for oil depletion and price volatility).” The Oil Drum: Europe, May 15.

Campbell, Colin C. and Jean Laherrère. 1998. “The End of Cheap Oil.” Scientific American (March): 78-83. 

Monbiot, George. 2012. “We were wrong on peak oil. There’s enough to fry us all.” The Guardian (July 2).

Safina, Carl. 2014. “This Planet Comes with Limits.” CNN (May 8). 

McDonald, Charlotte. 2015. “How Many Earths do we Need?” BBC News (June 16).  

Ludden, Jennifer. 2016. “Should We Be Having Kids In The Age Of Climate Change?” NPR (August 18).  

Järvensivu, Paavo et al. 2018. Global Sustainable Development Report 2019. Group of Independent Scientists – Invited background document on economic transformation (August 14). 

– Historical perspective and conceptual issues
George, Henry. 1912/1879. Progress and Poverty: An Inquiry into the Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth, The Remedy. Book II: Population and Subsistence. Chapter III: Inferences from Analogy.

Baumol, William J. and Sue Anne Batey Blackman. “Natural Resources,” The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics

Ausubel, Jesse. 1999/2000. “Resources are Elastic,” Earth Matters (Winter): 46-47. 

Will, George. 2012. “Why doom has not materialized.” The Washington Post (August 17).

Bradley, Rob. 2012. “Resourceship: Expanding ‘Depletable’ Resources.” Library of Economics and Liberty (May 7).  

Boudreaux, Donald J. 2018. “There are No Natural Resources.” American Institute for Economic Research (November 13).  

Ausubel, Jesse. 2015. “We Must Make Nature Worthless.” Real Clear Science (September 18).  

– On Peak Oil
Bailey, Ronald. 2016. “Where Have All the Peak Oilers Gone? Dancing on the grave of “peak oil” – will it stay buried?” Reason (January 21).  

Bradley Jr, Robert. 2018. “Oil Depletion Protocol (Colin Campbell’s Falsified Pretense of Knowledge).” Master Resource (July 18). 

 Ehrlich-Simon Bet
McClintick, David, and Ross B. Emmett. 2005. “Betting on the Wealth of Nature. The Simon-Ehrlich Wager.” PERC Report 23 (3) (Fall).  

Kedrosky, Paul. 2010. “Taking Another Look at Simon vs. Ehrlich on Commodity Prices.” Seeking Alpha (February 19). 

Tupy, Marian L. 2018. “The Counter-intuitive Truth about the World’s Resources.” CapX (December 7) (Original study available here).

Bailey, Ronald. 2018. “Resources Are Almost 5 Times as Abundant as They Were in 1980. New Simon Abundance Index elegantly refutes primitive zero-sum intuitions with respect to population and resource availability trends.” Reason (December 4).

– Latest trends
Institute for Energy Research. 2018. Technology Revolutionizing the Oil Industry (July 27).

– Latest News
Perry, Mark J. 2017. “From Peak Oil to Energy Abundance. Energy expert now says the Permian Basin is a permanent, near-infinite resource.” Carpe Diem (AEIdeas) (August 21). 

Australian Associated Press. 2018. “200-400 Years Worth of Shale Gas: Australian Minister Announces Huge Discovery.” (September 5).  

Blas, Javier. 2018. “The U.S. Just Became a Net Oil Exporter for the First Time in 75 Years.” Bloomberg (December 6).  

MacKinson, Lindsay. 2018. “Celebrating a Record-Shattering 2018 for U.S. Oil & Natural Gas.” Energy in Depth (December 20).  

Cohen, Ariel. 2018. “America’s Oil And Gas Reserves Double With Massive New Permian Discovery.” Forbes (December 21). 
 Suggested readings & links
We will watch two videos
– Productive Conversations: Dutch Disease Explained (Financial Post)
– The Devil’s Footpath, written and presented by June Arunga
Davies, Viv. 2012. “The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations.” Vox (April 20) (audio and transcript). 
• General Statement
Palley, Thomas I. 2003. “Lifting the Natural Resource Curse.” Foreign Service Journal, December. 

• Resource Curse (Debate)
Ali, Saleem H. 2010. Beyond The Resource Curse: Minerals and Global Development. Pardee Center, Issues in Brief, No. 12. 

Palda, Filip. 2003. “The High Price of Natural Wealth.” Fraser Forum, January, 30-31. 

Ryan, Kieron E. 2010. “Blood Diamonds Farce.” LewRockwell.com, August 11.van den Bremer, Ton Rick van der Ploeg. 2012. “Managing and Harnessing Volatile Oil Windfalls: Three Funds, Three Countries and Three Stories.” Vox (December 14).  

Wall, Alan. 2013. “PEMEX’s Throttling Mexico’s Oil Resources.” American Thinker (September 4). • Resource Curse, Dutch Disease and the Canadian Economy
Vostroknutova, Ekaterina, Milan Brahmbhatt and Otaviano Canuto. 2010. “Dealing with Dutch Disease.” VOX (June 21).  

Bergevin, Philippe. 2006. “Energy Resources: Boon or Curse for the Canadian Economy?” Economics Division, Parliamentary Information and Research Service (PIRS) of the Library of Parliament  31 March. 

Cross, Philip. 2013. Six Myths Surrounding the Development of Canada’s Natural Resources. MacDonald-Laurier Institute, Executive Summary and pp. 12-14. 

Cross, Philip. 2013. “Dutch Disease in Canada a myth.” National Post (January 16).

Holden, Michael. 2012. “Is Canada suffering from Dutch Disease?” Canada West Foundation Blog (June 4).

Isfeld, Gordon. 2012. “Mark Carney dismisses Dutch Disease, says oil strength sign of success.” Financial Post (September 7).

Kelly-Gagnon, Michel. 2012. “Dear Mr. Thomas Mulcair…” Toronto Star (June 25).

Nikiforuk, Andrew. 2013. “Oh Canada. How America’s Friendly Northern Neighbor became a Rogue, Reckless Petrostate.” Foreign Policy (June 24).  

Leach, Andrew. 2013. “Ottawa is no Caracas.” Foreign Policy (September-October). 

• Odious Debt
Adams, Patricia. 2002. “The Doctrine of Odious Debts: Using the Law to Cancel Illegitimate Debts.” Probe International, June 21.
 Suggested readings & links
– Historical Perspective
+ Before the car
MPO Production. Date unknown. “The American Road.”  

Late 1890s – A Trip Through Paris, France” (speed corrected w/ added sound).  

British Pathé. Date unknown. “Early English Traffic: Turn of the Century London (1896-1903).”  

Edison Company. 1901. “Montreal Fire Department on Runners” (Library of Congress).  

+ Early Years
History Channel. Henry Ford Videos – The Invention of the Automobile (For more on the history of the assembly line and cost reduction at the Ford Company, see Model T Assembly Line)

New York 1911 (Short versionextended version, speed corrected w/ added sound).  

Driving Around New York City – 1928.  

+ Tractors
CharlieDeanArchives. Horseless Farming With Ford Tractors – 1917.

+ Future cars in retrospect
Cars Of The Future from 1948.  

King Rose Archives. 2013. “Firebird I – 1st Turbine Powered Car” (February 7).

+ Electric car
ColdFusion. 2017. Did You Know – The First Cars Were Electric?  

Stossel. 2013. “A Green Car’s Dirty Secret?” (See also Praeger. 2016. Are Electric Cars Really Green?; CNN. 2009. History of the Electric Car).

Reason TV. 2018. “Remy: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (EV Tax Credit Edition).”  
• Before the Car 
Ausubel, Jesse H. 2014. “Cars and Civilization.” William & Myrtle Harris Distinguished Lectureship in Science and Civilization, California Institute of Technology (Revised May 18).

The Horse and the Urban Environment” on the Environmental Literacy Council’s Webpage. 

Avery, Dennis T. 2000. “Praising The Gas Engine On Earth Day.” Center for Global Food Issue (Hudson Institute) (April 14). 

Gordon, Peter. 2007 “Horse Manure.” Peter Gordon’s Blog, August 27.

Miller, Kirsten. 2012. “The Irregular Guide to New York Entry #5: Toxic Muck.” Bank St Irregular (October 21).  

Tarr, Joel and Clay McShane. 1997. “The Centrality of the Horse to the Nineteenth-Century American City.” Excerpt posted on the Environmental Literacy Council’s Webpage.  

Lee, Dwight R. 2007. “Thank You, Internal-Combustion Engine, for Cleaning up the Environment. Widespread Pollution from Horse Manure Caused Diseases and Produced Methane Gas.” Fee.org (October 1).  

• Historical Perspective and Overall Challenges
Omi, Koji. 2009. “Alternative Energy for Transportation.” Issues in Science and Technology 25 (4), Summer.

Bradley, Robert L and Richard W. Fulmer. Energy: The Master Resource, Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2004, Chapter 2: Using Energy, pp. 48-55.

Canadian Petroleum Products Institute. 2012. Fuels for Life. A Discussion on Canada’s Energy Transportation Choices (Executive Summary).

Kinney Bennett, Ralph. 2008. “Why Gasoline Is Still King.” The American Magazine, December 17.

Henderson, David. 2018. “Are Cars Much Better than 50 Years Ago?” Library of Economics and Liberty.  

• Diesel 
Smil, Vaclav. 2017. “Diesel Engine at 120.” IEEE Spectrum (February): 24.
Uniquecarsandparts.com.au. “The History of the Diesel Engine.” 

Hotten, Russell. 2015. “Volkswagen: The Scandal Explained.” BBC News (December 10).

Eric Peters Auto. 2015. “No More Affordable Diesel.” (October 8).

Peters, Eric. 2018. “Sniffing a Scandal.” Eric Peters Auto (July 6).   

• Natural Gas 
Fuel for Thought. 2012. “The First Natural Gas Vehicles.” (April 27). 

Naturalgas.org. “Natural Gas in the Transportation Sector.” 

White, Bill. 2011. “The Long Road for Natural Gas.” Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects (June 27). 

Biello, David. 2012. “Cheap Fracked Gas Could Help Americans Keep on Truckin’.” Scientific American (April 23).

• Electric Car– History 
Kilson, Kashann. 2016. “In 1910, Electric Cars Were the Best Vehicles on the Road. What Happened?EVs ran into Ford’s whims, Edison’s unfit batteries, big oil, and the ancient question of charging stations.” Inverse (January 4).  
– General 
Graham, John D., Joshua Cisney, Sanya Carley, and John Rupp. 2014. “No Time for Pessimism about Electric Cars.” Issues in Science and Technology 31, no. 1 (Fall).

Lane, Charles. 2010. “Unaffordable at Any Speed – President Obama’s electric car subsidies are snobby and foolish.” Slate, July 30.

Smil, Vaclav. 2012. “Far from Electrifying.” The American Magazine, November, 26.

Brooks, Allen. 2014. “The Struggle to Mainstream Electric Vehicles.” Master Resource (July 23).

Lomborg, Bjorn. 2015. “Electric Car Benefits? Just Myths.” USA Today (February 22).  

Canadian Fuels Association. 2016. “Cold weather tips for electric vehicles and hybrids.” (November 10). 

Alhajji, Anas. 2017. “Forecasts of High Penetration of Electric Vehicles are Based on Flawed Calculations.” Anasalhajji.com.  

Yager, David. 2017. “Electric Vehicles No Threat To Oil Prices Anytime Soon.” OilPrice.com (July 27). 

Dears, Donn. 2017. “Post-Internal Combustion Engine? Doing the UK Math.” Master Resource (August 22).  

Booker, Christopher. 2017. “It’s up Against StiffC, but the Race for Electric Cars could be our Leaders’ Maddest Green Mania Yet.” Daily Mail(August 22). 

Booth, David. 2017. “Motor Mouth: More inconvenient truths on banning gas engines – High-speed EV recharging stations on highways sound great – until you hear how much they would cost.” Driving (October 6).  

Mills, Mark P. 2017. “Why Silicon Valley Loves Mining.” Manhattan Institute Commentary (October 31).  

Smil, Vaclav. 2017. “Electric Vehicles: Not so Fast.” IEEE Spectrum (December): 24. 

Boag, Peter. 2018. “Strong Evidence for Reduced Emissions: A Big Opportunity.” Canadian Fuels Association Commentary (February). 

Peters, Eric. 2018. “GM Kills the Electric Car.” Eric Peters Auto (November 28).

Peters, Eric. 2019. “The Double-Batteried Electric Polecat.” Eric Peters Auto (January 24).  
– Ontario
—. 2017. “Globe editorial: Why subsidies for electric cars are a bad idea for Canada.” Globe & Mail (July 7).Goldstein, Lorrie. 2017. “Green Fleet Targets Shrouded in Hypocrisy.” Toronto Sun (September 9).  – Tesla Motor 
Durden, Tyler. 2017. “It’s Confirmed: Without Government Subsidies, Tesla Sales Implode.” Zero Hedge (June 12).  

Kristensson, Johan. 2017. “Study: Tesla Car Battery Production Releases as Much CO2 as 8 Years of Driving on Gas.” Principia-Scientific(June 20). 

Peters, Eric. 2017. “Why Won’t They Send me a Tesla to Test Drive?” Eric Peters Auto (October 21). 

Wahlman, Anton. 2018. “Tesla Model 3 Costs More To Charge Than A Gasoline Car.” Seeking Alpha (April 1). 
 Hybrids –, “Most Hybrid Vehicles Not as Cost-Effective as They Seem, Reports Edmunds.com.” Edmunds.com, June 1, 2005. Elton, Robert. 2004. “The Truth About Hybrids.” The Truth about Cars. November 12.Gantert, Tom. 2011. “Chevy Volt – Costing Taxpayers Up to $250K Per Vehicle.” Michigan Capitol Confidential, December 21.

Green, Kenneth. 2011. “The Failed Chevy Volt That Just Won’t Go Away.” RealClearMarkets, November 30.• Hydrogen
Smil, Vaclav. 2003. “No Alternative to Reality,” Tech Central Station, June 30.

Zubrin, Robert. “The Hydrogen Hoax.” The New Atlantis, Number 15, Winter 2007, pp. 9-20.
 Suggested readings & links

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