You are on page 1of 29

Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

Backstopping and Peak Oil Aff

Yes Oil Shocks ..............................................................................................................................................................2


***BACKSTOPPING*** .............................................................................................................................................3
AT: Backstopping..........................................................................................................................................................3
AT: Backstopping..........................................................................................................................................................4
AT: Backstopping..........................................................................................................................................................5
No Spare Capacity .........................................................................................................................................................6
No Spare Capacity .........................................................................................................................................................7
No Spare Capacity – Won’t Pump.................................................................................................................................8
No Spare Capacity – Pipelines ......................................................................................................................................9
***PEAK OIL*** .......................................................................................................................................................10
Yes Peak ......................................................................................................................................................................10
Yes Peak ......................................................................................................................................................................11
Yes Peak ......................................................................................................................................................................12
Yes Peak ......................................................................................................................................................................13
Best Research Proves...................................................................................................................................................14
Time Frame – Now......................................................................................................................................................15
Time Frame – 5 Years .................................................................................................................................................16
AT: “Lots of Reserves” ...............................................................................................................................................17
AT: Substitutes ............................................................................................................................................................18
AT: Abiotic Oil............................................................................................................................................................19
AT: Transitions Smooth ..............................................................................................................................................20
Peak Kills Econ ...........................................................................................................................................................21
Peak Kills Econ ...........................................................................................................................................................23
Peak Kills Econ ...........................................................................................................................................................24
Peak Kills Heg.............................................................................................................................................................25
Peak = Famine .............................................................................................................................................................26
***OTHER STUFF WE THREW IN*** ...................................................................................................................27
High Prices Bad – Terrorism .......................................................................................................................................27
High Prices Hurt Soft Power .......................................................................................................................................28
AT: Prices=> Transition ..............................................................................................................................................29

1
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

Yes Oil Shocks


( _ ) 200 dollar a barrel oil will tank the global econ in the SQ
The Calgary Herald (Alberta) May 7, 2008 p. l/n

Oil could shoot to $200 US within the next two years as part of a "super-spike," investment bank Goldman
Sachs said Tuesday, as crude cruised to a record price north of $122 per barrel and at least one Calgary station
briefly advertised regular gasoline at a record $1.29 per litre. It's an oil forecast that's gaining in popularity -- and a
prospect analysts and economists agreed would lead to a global slowdown, a deep U.S. recession and higher
prices for consumers in Canada on everything from gas to food. "We believe the current energy crisis may
be coming to a head, as a lack of adequate supply growth is becoming apparent," U.S.-based Goldman
analyst Arjun Murti said in a research note. "The possibility of $150 to $200 per barrel seems increasingly
likely over the next six to 24 months, though predicting the ultimate peak in oil prices . . . remains a major
uncertainty."

( _ ) Prices will remain high for a long period- no transition


Daily Oil Bulletin April 15, 2008 p. l/n

The price of oil, which set a new record topping $113.50 (U.S.) per bbl at mid-morning today, may hold up better
today than it did in the late 1970s when a combination of high oil prices and fairly high global demand growth were
followed by an economic slump and lower prices. "That decade ended with the United States economy wading into
a stagflationary swamp and the global economy on the cusp of a protracted slowdown," Dr. Judith Dwarkin, senior
economist with Ross Smith Energy Group Ltd., told a conference sponsored by the Canadian Energy Research
Institute (CERI). "The lesson we learned back then is that it is possible for oil prices to get too high." Today,
"high oil prices may have a bit longer shelf life," she suggested. On the supply side, cost inflation is putting a
drag on investments in non-OPEC countries while on the demand side there will be a longer development
period for alternatives to oil than there was in the 1970s and 1980s. Thirty years ago, high oil prices resulted
in a rapid shift to natural gas for power generation. With cheap and abundant gas and a well-established
technology, it was not a difficult change to make. Today, the transportation sector is "the last remaining
bastion" of oil demand growth but the technology for alternative transport fuels is still in its early stages and
is an economic challenge.

2
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

***BACKSTOPPING***
AT: Backstopping
( _ ) OPEC No Longer Has the Ability to Backstop the Global Oil Market
Sodhi, an Economist at the Centre for Independent Studies, 6/24/08, p.
http://www.cis.org.au/executive_highlights/EH2008/eh63608.html
(Gauray, “The Myth of OPEC”, Executive Highlights)

The massive reserves of Saudi Arabia have also historically been a tool to encourage quota compliance. The Saudis,
with their massive oil reserves and high levels of spare production capacity, have in the past threatened to flood the
market with oil to engineer a collapse in price. With the world’s cheapest production costs and lots of spare
capacity, it was a threat the Saudis could theoretically carry out. Not anymore. Saudi Arabia no longer has the
buffer of excess production, and there is a lack of confidence in the sustainability of its largest fields. The long
standing threat to flood the market with cheap oil has now become a bluff, and the other members of OPEC know it.
OPEC goes to great trouble to pretend that it can influence prices. It holds regular meetings where it ordains a new
production target with much ceremony.

( _ ) OPEC isn’t holding back – they can’t backstop


Sodhi, an Economist at the Centre for Independent Studies, 6/24/08, p.
http://www.cis.org.au/executive_highlights/EH2008/eh63608.html
(Gauray, “The Myth of OPEC”, Executive Highlights)

But honestly, you would have to be a mug to believe that OPEC countries are purposefully limiting production.
When oil prices rise, so does the opportunity cost of sticking to the allocated quota. So while its possible to maintain
a cartel when prices are low, you can bet your life that each member is pumping out as much crude as it possibly can
at $140 a barrel. There are two reasons for this. Member countries of course have a financial incentive to pump
more at higher prices: Saudi Arabia alone earns more than a billion dollars a day in oil revenue. For most OPEC
countries, oil is their main source of revenue and if there is one thing governments like, its revenue. But there is a
more important reason. OPECs members aren’t stable democratic countries in which petroleum is just another
industry. They are mostly authoritarian states that use oil as a means of sustaining political power. Oil money is a
way of buying support from key parts of society and financing a security apparatus to deal with enemies. Oil creates
the revenues that enable many OPEC regimes to continue to stay in power. By allowing countries to both buy
authority and enforce it, oil strengthens regimes that would otherwise be very wobbly. Nothing would be more
destabilizing for the Saudi monarchy or the Iranian theocracy than a fall in oil revenues. Would Hugo Chavez
survive in Venezuela without using cheap oil to buy off allies? Governments in Libya, Nigeria and Angola would
similarly all be in perilous political positions without the benefit of oil money. Far from being an economic boogey
man, the truth about OPEC is that it is a largely powerless organisation that sustains its own existence with a myth, a
myth that governments in the West are complicit in spreading. Like a peacock that impresses with a great show of
colour and noise, OPEC is really just a big bird that can’t fly.

3
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

AT: Backstopping
( _ ) OPEC is Powerless
Kingsdale, JOB, 5/11/08, p. http://seekingalpha.com/article/76725-the-end-of-opec
(Jim, “The End of OPEC”, Seeking Alpha)

Churchill’s assessment applies to the current oil situation: this is the beginning of the end of OPEC. That much is
obvious; the more interesting question is “why?” OPEC was founded in 1960 to protect the interest of its members,
major oil exporting nations. That interest is to stabilize world oil prices at levels that balance their competing
objectives to maximize both long term oil demand and the short term oil price. The idea was to keep enough oil off
the market during glut periods to elevate the price and insert enough oil onto markets and lower prices during crises
to prevent a global recession and to subvert movements toward substitutions for oil. The cartel has struggled with
both tasks. They have had some successes and some failures in keeping short term prices high. But since prices
broke out of the $30 ceiling in 2003, OPEC had had little success in containing the price rise. Now analysts are
increasingly questioning whether OPEC is able to contain oil prices. Whether they can or not will soon become
evident. Regardless of whether OPEC can lower oil prices in the near term, it is clear that soon enough OPEC will
not have that ability. Let me digress for one moment to address the concept of Peak Oil, because I need to use the
term. It is now time to adjust our definition, since the term is increasingly being used in a new way by the popular
press. “Peak Oil” no longer carries Hubbert’s geological meaning: roughly, the time when maximum oil flow cannot
be increased because decreased reserve levels prevent human efforts from being able to get it out of the ground any
faster. Instead, “Peak Oil” is now becoming known as the time when maximum global oil production has been
reached for reasons that include both geological constraints and human behavior. In the latter category we have two
things: political events that contain production in countries like Nigeria, Iraq, and Venezuela on the one hand. And
on the other hand we have conscious decisions to hoard oil by countries like Russia, Kuwait, and, recently, Saudi
Arabia, which have all acted to produce oil at less than the maximum geologically possible level. So, now that you
understand what I’m referring to, let me assert that we are now - or soon will be - at Peak Oil due to both geological
and human reasons. Both factors working in tandem have created Peak Oil - if not today, then very soon. I suspect
the new Saudi fields being brought on this year and next will give them some ability to flood the market with oil and
lower the price temporarily if they choose to do so. But once that surge is over, probably starting in 2010, there will
be no ability of OPEC to influence the price of oil. In a Peak Oil world, OPEC, by definition, will not be able to
contain the rise in the price of oil; they simply will not have the reserves to do so. Since we are either at or very near
Peak Oil, OPEC is now or soon will be quite powerless.

4
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

AT: Backstopping
( _ ) OPEC can’t flood the market
Lazarus, Staff Reporter, 5/11/05, p. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-
bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/05/11/BUG9NCN39G1.DTL&type=business
(David, “OPEC still sings same tune”, San Francisco Chronicle)

Peak oil means prices will push higher and higher in the face of surging demand. This in turn will have a
catastrophic impact on oil-addicted economies worldwide and, according to some prognosticators, will lead to wars
over remaining supplies. Despite OPEC's persistent and almost laughable declarations that the planet is burdened
with a glut of oil, many analysts say we'll reach peak oil at some point during the next decade (if we haven't already).
Oil prices -- and, in turn, the price of virtually everything else -- will continue to rise until world economies hit the
breaking point. "We're playing with the future of our civilization," said Caltech's Goodstein. "We could soon find
ourselves without oil or anything to substitute for oil." He says OPEC keeps going out of its way to create an
illusion of excess capacity as a means of deterring investment in alternative energy sources. "If they can keep
people believing they can flood the market with cheap oil anytime they want, no one will pursue alternatives,"
Goodstein said. "But it's just a myth. Supplies are very tight." Yet each year that passes without a serious
commitment to ameliorating this situation is another that pads the pockets of OPEC and other oil producers at the
expense of, well, all of humanity. "Every year we waste is another really important year lost," said Matthew
Simmons, chief exec and chairman of Houston's Simmons & Co. International, the world's largest investment bank
focusing on the energy business. He says we may have already reached peak oil and should be aggressively
working to prepare for the unavoidable consequences. "Solar and nuclear and wind are all very important, but
they're not the answer," Simmons said. "None of them will be able to replace oil." Basically, he doesn't know what
the answer to our energy dilemma may be. He just knows that some new discovery or technology will almost
certainly come our way -- as long as we manage our resources wisely until it gets here. That means investing in
alternative fuels like solar and nuclear power as a stopgap until that miraculous new energy source arrives. It also
means promoting conservation and efficiency in both industry and daily life to get the most out of our waning oil
supply. "We need to do everything at once so we have the ability to fail at one or two things along the way,"
Simmons said. "The most important thing is that we need to buy ourselves some time." And time, like oil, is
running out.

5
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

No Spare Capacity
( _ ) Oil supply struggles to keep up with demand, and production won’t increase
Middle East Select July 1, 2008 p. l/n

This volatility may be a symptom of deeper changes. The fundamental reason for the rise in oil prices since 2002
has been the tightness of the physical market: demand had risen at a rate that had not been anticipated by the
International Energy Agency (IEA) or by other interested parties, with the result that a presumed capacity surplus
in excess of 5m b/d had shrunk to barely 2m b/d by the time that the actual level of demand had been ascertained
after repeated upward revisions. Over the past five years demand has continued to rise, as a result of robust
global economic growth, particularly in Asia and the Middle East, while new supply has been slow to
materialise owing to rising costs in the industry, technical difficulties and, in some cases, deliberate policies to
conserve oil reserves. At last, with OECD economies slowing down and Asian governments starting to trim fuel
subsidies, demand is showing signs of reacting to the higher oil prices. In a mirror image of its earlier upward
revisions of demand, the IEA is now adjusting its demand forecasts downwards with each passing month. In its most
recent bulletin, the IEA has trimmed its forecast for 2008 demand growth by 230,000 b/d to 800,000 b/d, or 0.9%; at
the end of last summer, the IEA said that it expected demand to rise by 2.2m b/d, or 2.5%, in 2008. The signs that
oil demand is easing have already prompted Saudi Arabia to revise its long-term capacity investment plans.
In April the oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, declared that once the current programme of lifting capacity to 12.5m
barrels/day is completed by 2010, there will be a pause before any major new projects are undertaken. Saudi
Arabia's oil production strategy has for many years been based on maintaining about 2m b/d of spare capacity to be
deployed in the event of sudden disruptions to global supplies. The kingdom is currently producing about 9.3m b/d.

( _ ) No spare capacity
Africa News June 26, 2008 p. l/n
There was widespread recognition of the essential role that underlying oil demand and supply fundamentals
have played in the recent oil price surge Slow growth of new capacity and continued strong demand in
emerging economies have led to declining spare capacity and tight market conditions.

( _ ) Oil market tight- little capacity


EIU ViewsWire Select June 25, 2008 p. l/n

Saudi Arabia will continue to expand its oil production capacity to some 12.5m barrels/day (b/d) but will aim to
maintain at least 1.5m-2m b/d of spare capacity. The price of dated Brent Blend is expected to remain over
$100US/barrel throughout the forecast period, reflecting continuing strong demand, slow supply growth and
a narrow margin of global spare capacity.

6
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

No Spare Capacity
( _ ) Despite Confusion, There is No Spare Capacity
Lazarus, Staff Reporter, 5/11/05, p. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-
bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/05/11/BUG9NCN39G1.DTL&type=business
(David, “OPEC still sings same tune”, San Francisco Chronicle)

And now a brief word on oil prices from our friends at OPEC: They're fine right where they are, thank you very
much. In fact, we think we're providing you more than enough oil, so we're not going to increase production even
though the United States, the world's largest oil consumer, is entering its peak driving season. "We believe there is
2 million barrels per day of overproduction in the market," the president of the Organization of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries, Sheikh Ahmed Fahd al-Sabah of Kuwait, was quoted as saying this week. Added Iran's oil
minister, Bijan Namdar Zangeneh: "The market situation is good." In reality, said David Goodstein, a physics
professor at the California Institute of Technology and author of "Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil," we're
nowhere near a good market situation. "There's very little excess capacity," he said. "Everyone is pretty much
maxed out in terms of production." Yet that's not the song OPEC has sung year after year. In November, after oil
prices topped $50 per barrel for the first time, Iran's OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, said the
organization should slash production because there was more than enough crude on hand. "The market is currently
oversupplied by 2 million barrels a day," he said, using the same questionable figure trotted out this week. Earlier,
in April 2003, OPEC was fretting because oil was trading near $22 per barrel, the lower end of the organization's
preferred trading range (it was more than double this price at $52 on Tuesday). OPEC officials urged cutbacks in
production. "The market is facing a surplus today, not a shortage," the organization's then-president, Abdullah bin
Hamad al-Attiyah, said at the time. Prior to that, in December 2002, then-OPEC General Secretary Alvaro Silva
Calderon said the organization may need to reduce production because, well, there was too much oil around. "The
market is oversupplied at the present time," he said. Nearly two years earlier, in January 2001, the Saudi oil
minister, Ali Naimi, said production would need to be throttled back because -- you guessed it -- too much crude
was flooding a thirsty world. "We think the market is oversupplied," he said. "We are here to steady the market."
Before that, in December 2000, President-elect George W. Bush was calling on OPEC to "open the spigots" and
bring down oil prices. Then-OPEC President Ali Rodriguez of Venezuela replied that there was no need to do this
because, yup, there was plenty of oil to go around. "At the moment, there is an oversupply of oil," he said. And so
on and so on. I wrote last month about peak oil, the inevitable moment when global oil production hits its peak and,
from that point on, reserves are on an ever- dwindling downward spiral.

( _ ) OPEC is Pumping as Much as It Can


Sodhi, an Economist at the Centre for Independent Studies, 6/24/08, p.
http://www.cis.org.au/executive_highlights/EH2008/eh63608.html
(Gauray, “The Myth of OPEC”, Executive Highlights)

OPEC has long been considered an economic boogey man terrorizing economies all over the world. When
politicians fret that oil prices are rising too high too fast, it is OPEC that they run to for relief. American, European
and now Australian leaders have all pleaded publicly for OPEC to increase production. So why hasn’t OPEC acted?
How can they get away with holding back supply? OPEC is famously secretive about output and its reserve
positions for good reason; it doest want the truth to slip that it has no sway in oil markets. It’s a safe bet that OPEC
is pumping as much oil as it can. OPEC is a cartel, not a monopoly. There is an important difference. If OPEC were
a single country with a dominant share of global oil output, it would be an international menace that could set the
global price of oil single handedly.

7
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

No Spare Capacity – Won’t Pump


( _ ) Even if there’s spare capacity, Saudi Arabia won’t pump it
Pitt, Online Editor, 4/20/08, p. http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article152762.ece
(Anthea, “Saudi Arabia plans capacity growth ‘pause’”, Upstream Online)

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has no plans to expand capacity further as long-term oil demand forecasts fall and
alternative fuel supplies rise, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi has said. Saudi Arabia, the holder of the world's
largest oil reserves sees no need to go beyond its 2009 capacity target of 12.5 million barrels per day "at least up to
2020", Al-Naimi told oil industry newsletter Petroleum Argus, Reuters reported. Long-term future energy demand
forecasts have fallen sharply, he said in the interview given to the weekly on 11 April, casting doubt on the need for
more Saudi oil. Demand forecasts have fallen as low as 106 million bpd in 2030, down from previous estimates as
high as 130 million bpd. The world currently consumes around 86 million bpd. "The projection of demand is on the
decrease," Naimi said. "The projection of alternative fuels is on the rise. Therefore, it behoves us to pause, instead of
expending unnecessary funds on expanding capacity that will probably not be needed," he said. "We will watch
what happens in the coming years. It is a pragmatic position." Saudi Arabia has spent tens of billions of dollars on
projects to meet growing world demand and maintain spare production capacity of 1.5 million to 2 million bpd to
deal with any unexpected outages in global supply. The kingdom has previously said it could take output capacity of
15 million bpd. The kingdom is the only oil producer with substantial spare capacity that can be brought online
quickly. "We are idling at around 9 million bpd and we will reach capacity of 12.5 million bpd by 2009," Naimi
said. "That is substantial spare capacity. As far as I know, all the latest projections, at least up to 2020, do not
require anything higher than that." A Saudi oil official said earlier this month that output stood at around 9 million bpd. Current capacity
is around 11.3 million bpd. Naimi said the oil market did not need more oil and crude inventories were "fairly high". "Today there is no reason
to jump up and down and say 'we will supply more crude' - because that request from consuming countries is probably politically driven rather
than a fundamental requirement," he said. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown this week said he wanted to see collective action to persuade Opec
to boost output and bring down prices. US President George W. Bush has also repeatedly urged Opec to supply more oil. But boosting Saudi oil
output would destabilise the market, Naimi said. "We would be flooding the market," he said. "The market cannot handle it, there is no
demand." The price of oil was divorced from oil market fundamentals, Naimi said. Oil has become a hedge for investors, like gold, against the
falling value of currencies, he added. "That is the reason for the pressure on the price of oil," he said. US crude hit a record of $117 a barrel on
Friday. Rising costs for materials, construction and oil service contracting has pushed up the cost of adding new oil output capacity in Saudi
Arabia to between $5000 and $8000 per barrel, Naimi said. Capacity additions at the Shaybah oilfield, where state oil company Saudi Aramco is
adding 250,000 bpd to current capacity, cost around $5000 per barrel he said. At the giant Ghawar field, additional capacity costs were around
$2000 per barrel. The highest depletion rates at Saudi oilfields were around 2% to 3% per year, Naimi said. Reservoir management and drilling
prevented higher decline, he added. Decline rates at existing wells were around 6% to 8% per year. The only capacity addition that Saudi Arabia
has detailed beyond 2009 is the 900,000 bpd Manifa field, which is to replace decline at other fields, Naimi said. "Manifa is really a 'maintain
potential' facility,” Naimi said. “It does not add to our spare capacity."

8
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

No Spare Capacity – Pipelines


( _ ) No pipeline capacity
Canada NewsWire June 26, 2008 p. l/n

While there is spare capacity on some Canadian oil pipeline systems, the National Energy Board (NEB) said today
that oil pipeline capacity overall continues to be tight. According to the NEB's Canadian Pipeline Transportation
System Assessment, additional capacity is soon needed to accommodate growing supply and provide greater market
flexibility. This is best demonstrated by the recent number of announced and proposed pipelines and expansions to
both traditional markets and new markets such as the U.S. Gulf Coast and offshore Asia and California. "Capacity
constraints on oil pipelines in Canada were evident in 2007," said NEB Vice Chair, Sheila Leggett. "While there
was some spare capacity, periods of apportionment meant that some pipelines were at times not able to fully
meet shipper demand."

9
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

***PEAK OIL***
Yes Peak
( _ ) Reliance on declining major oil fields ensure peak
Luhnow – journalist – 4/5/2007
(David, “Mexico Tries to Save A Big, Fading Oil Field,” Wall Street Journal via Rigzone)
http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=43560

The demise of Cantarell highlights a global issue: Nearly a quarter of the world's daily oil output of 85 million
barrels is pumped from the biggest 20 fields, according to estimates from Wood Mackenzie, a Scotland-based oil
consulting firm. And many of those fields, discovered decades ago, could soon follow in Cantarell's footsteps. It's
widely believed that the world's biggest oil fields have already been found. In the decades leading up to the 1970s,
the world discovered eight big fields that produced between 500,000 to one million barrels a day, according to
Matthew Simmons, a veteran oil industry banker. During the 1970s and 1980s, only two were found. Since then,
only one -- the Kashagan field in Kazakhstan -- has the potential to easily top the 500,000 barrel-a-day mark. Two
decades ago, about a dozen fields produced more than a million barrels a day. Now there are only four, one of which
is Cantarell. The future of two others, discovered more than 50 years ago, remains in question. Some analysts
speculate Saudi Arabia's Ghawar, the biggest field by far, could begin a gradual decline within a decade or so.
Another, Kuwait's Burgan, is showing signs of maturity. In November of 2005, Kuwait Oil Co. lowered its estimate
of the field's sustainable production level to 1.7 million barrels a day from 1.9 million a day.

( _ ) New discoveries are too small – they can’t keep up with rate of decline of the larger
fields
Luhnow – journalist – 4/5/2007
(David, “Mexico Tries to Save A Big, Fading Oil Field,” Wall Street Journal via Rigzone)
http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=43560

Replacing big gushers is difficult. Industrialized countries, which tapped out their big fields years earlier, haven't
been able to maintain output despite finding large numbers of smaller fields and investing heavily in technology.
Alaska production, hurt by declines at the giant Prudhoe Bay field, dropped from 2 million barrels a day in 1988 to a
current rate of about 900,000 a day. "The world faces a situation where we have production from smaller and
smaller fields trying to keep up with declines from the big fields like Cantarell," says Mike Rodgers, a partner at
industry consulting firm PFC Energy in Houston. "You're on a treadmill trying to keep up, and you get to a point
where you can't make any more forward progress."

10
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

Yes Peak
( _ ) The end to oil is inevitable. The supply peak will hit by 2010

John Attarian, Ph.D., doctorate in economics from Michigan, “The Coming End of Cheap Oil,” The Social
Contract, Summer, 2002, http://www.thesocialcontract.com/cgi-bin/showarticle.pl?articleID=1094&terms=,
accessed 8/10/04
Other geologists have recently applied Hubbert’s method to world oil. In 1996, L. F. Ivanhoe pointed out that
world oil discovery peaked in 1962, that world production tends to parallel discovery with a roughly 32-year
lag, and that most of the world’s large oil fields have probably already been found. Using United States
Geological Survey (USGS) world data, and allowing for diminished consumption after the 1970s oil price
shocks, Ivanhoe put the peak year at 2010, perhaps slightly postponed by discoveries since 1992.(7) Two
years later, Colin Campbell and Jean Laherrère, then associated with the Geneva-based Petroconsultants,
asserted that “within the next decade, the supply of conventional oil will be unable to keep up with the
demand.” With forty years’ experience apiece in the oil industry, they debunked the industry’s optimistic
assessment of “proved” reserves exceeding a trillion barrels. Reserve figures are problematic, especially for
countries outside America, which can and do inflate reserves for political purposes; shortly after OPEC
modified production quotas in the 1980s to take reserves into account, several members increased their
reserves by some 300 Gb total. Campbell and Laherrère put total world reserves at 850 Gb, with another 150
Gb still undiscovered. “There is only so much crude oil in the world, and the industry has found about 90
percent of it.” Total supply (800 Gb consumed as of end-1997 plus probable reserves plus still undiscovered
oil), they concluded was some 1,800 Gb, and output would peak before 2010.(8) Campbell’s updated
projections obtained similar results; even broadening conventional oil, to include natural gas liquids in oil
wells, generated an estimate of 1,950 Gb and a peak in 2010.(9)

( _ ) Cheap oil is rapidly disappearing as net energy gains decline

Mac Lawrence, editor of Timeline Magazine, “When the Oil Runs Out,” Timeline #73, January/February, 2004,
http://www.globalcommunity.org/timeline/73/index.shtml
As previously noted, economists tell us that when a resource becomes scarce, the price rises high enough so
the market responds by producing more of it. In a paper titled Net Energy, Canadian research scientist Peter
Salonius points out that this is true for raw materials like minerals. We just dig deeper, use ore of a lower
grade that was formerly too expensive to refine, or, ultimately, use more dilute sources like sea water to
concentrate the mineral. But, says Salonius, it takes oil to get oil. "In the 1950s, globally, we were able to
produce 50 barrels of oil for every barrel consumed in its discovery and production. By the 1990s, globally,
we were only able to produce 5 barrels of oil for every barrel consumed in its discovery and production.
"When we arrive at the point where it requires 1 barrel to discover and produce 1 barrel, even if the price
reaches $500 a barrel, it will make no sense to look for new oil because there will be no Net Energy produced
in the endeavor."

11
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

Yes Peak
( _ ) Future discoveries will be smaller and harder to reach – a downward trend in
discovery is unavoidable

Paul Roberts, Harper's Magazine, Finalist for the National Magazine Award, The End of Oil: A Perilous New
World, 2004, p. 50-52

Oil, in other words, is a relatively rare phenomenon, produced only in certain geological spaces, under
certain conditions, and within a shallow zone just below the surface of the earth. Worldwide, there exist
approximately six hundred petroleum systems capable of producing commercial volumes of oil and gas. Of
these, approximately four hundred have been explored. The remainder lie in places like the Arctic or in deep
offshore waters — remote, hard-to-reach areas that oil companies have turned to only after exploiting the
more accessible oil. This state of affairs helps explain why oil exploration has become so much more difficult
in recent decades. Not only are the remaining “undiscovered” systems harder to reach, but they are likely to
be smaller: historically, larger systems, being easier to find than smaller ones, have tended to be discovered
first. What is more, oil companies prefer to develop the large discoveries first and put off exploring the
smaller, less profitable fields until later. “In any region, the large fields are the biggest targets and are usually
discovered first’ says petroleum geologist Joseph Riva, a former oil analyst with the U.S. Congressional
Research Service (CRS). “As exploration progresses, the average size of the fields discovered decreases, as
does the amount of oil found per unit of exploratory drilling.” Or in plain English, remaining undiscovered
fields not only will be smaller but are likely to yield ever-smaller volumes of petroleum. In fact, when one
charts the average volume of oil that has been discovered each year since the beginning of the century, it
becomes clear that new oil is indeed getting harder to find. Year by year, the volume of newly discovered oil
— that is, the number of barrels found each year and recorded in the books as known or discovered reserves
— climbs steadily upward from 1860 until around 1961, when it peaks. Since then, oil companies have
found, on average, a little less oil each year — with the exception of a small blip in the late 1990s, as big
finds were announced in the Caspian, off the shore of West Africa, and in the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, since
1995, the world has used 24 billion barrels of oil a year but has found, on average, just 9.6 billion barrels of
new oil annually. According to a study by Wood Mackenzie Consultants, industry is finding less than 40
percent of the new oil it needs to keep the base of known reserves from shrinking. Barring some fairly
spectacular disruption to historical patterns, there is little reason to expect anything to alter the downward
trajectory of discovery. We’ve been drilling holes all over the world since the early 1900s, says Les Magoon,
a geologist with the USGS who has mapped world petroleum fields for three decades and does not share his
employer’s optimism. “Statistically, it’s unlikely that there is all this ‘hidden resource,’ waiting to be found;
[it] is pretty hard to support scientifically.”

( _ ) The parallel rates of discovery and extraction prove the peak is close

David Goodstein, Vice Provost and Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Caltech, Out of Gas, 2004, p.
28

Hubbert’s third method applied the observation that the total amount of oil extracted to date paralleled oil
discovery but lagged behind by a few decades. In other words, we pump oil out of the ground at about the
same rate that we discover it, but a few decades later. Thus the rate of discovery predicts the rate of
extraction. Worldwide, remember, the rate of discovery started declining decades ago. In other words,
Hubbert’s peak for oil discovery already occurred, decades ago. That gives an independent prediction of
when Hubbert’s peak for oil consumption will occur. It will occur; according to that method, within the next
decade or so.

12
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

Yes Peak
( _ ) Peak oil right around the corner
Kohl practical investment analysis in the new energy economy June 16th 2008
p. http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/peak-oil-theory/715
( Keith Facing the Peak Oil Crisis... and Profiting the Whole Way)

"What is peak oil?" I distinctly remember the last time a reader asked me that question, I tried to offer him a
solid answer. Before I wrote back, I couldn't help wondering how many people really understood what peak oil
was. Back then, oil barely broke past $90 a barrel and we were being laughed at for assuming $100 a barrel
would soon be considered 'cheap'. Anyone still think $90 a barrel is expensive? Over the weekend, the peak oil
question appeared again in my email. This time, however, it was from more than a dozen of my Energy and
Capital readers. I can only assume that as peak oil finally falls under the global spotlight, I'll continue getting the
same question. So in honor of those of you new to peak oil, here's a chance for you to catch up. Peak Oil
Believe when I say that we could talk for months about the various aspects of the peak oil issue. For the sake of
our newer readers, we'll stick to the basics. Simply put, peak oil is the point when global oil production reaches
its maximum rate. We're not talking about the total amount of oil left in the world (and I can't begin to tell you
how many people have said to me with a straight face, "The peak oil theory is a bunch of garbage, there's
trillions of barrels of oil left underground."). The problem isn't how much oil is left, but rather the rate at which
we can produce it. If we were somehow able to put every drop of oil left in the world into one gigantic barrel of
oil, yet were only given a tiny cup to draw out the oil, we'd be in a bit of trouble. Sure, the oil is sitting right in
front of us, but we would be unable to get it. Now, if I had to pinpoint when peak oil was announced to the
world, in a heartbeat I would say, "March 8, 1956." That was the day M. King Hubbert stood in front of a crowd
at the Plaza Hotel in San Antonio, Texas and delivered his ominous speech. During the speech, Hubbert
predicted that U.S. oil production would in the early 1970s. You can imagine the response. After all, U.S.
production that year was higher than ever before. But as you can see below, U.S. oil production peaked in 1970:
US Peak Oil production 6-16-08 Although new unconventional plays like the Bakken formation in North
Dakota are experiencing "a good old-fashioned oil boom," I doubt it will be enough to pick up all the slack.
Don't get me wrong, dear reader, there's a lot of oil over there, and you can bet that producers are going to go
after it. Actually, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), it's one of the few areas where
domestic production is growing at a strong pace. But peak oil in the U.S. is obviously in the past. Today, experts
are predicting that global peak oil is right around the corner.

13
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

Best Research Proves


( _ ) Newest studies prove – peak is imminent
Byron, Ph.D. in Political Science & author 2006
p. 37
(Michael, Infinity’s Rainbow The Politics of Energy, Climate and Globalization)

The effects of advanced oilfield recovery technologies can be seen very clearly in this graph which is taken from a
paper written by two researchers from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, John Gowdy and Roxana Julia, entitled
~Technology and Petroleum Exhaustion: Evidence from Two Mega-Oilfields." The significance of this is that the
rate of decline in oil production, post-peak, will be significantly greater than most researchers, and most models,
assume. Thus the window of opportunity to deal with this set of problems is already almost closed. This mitigates,
as we shall see, in favor of military approaches to dealing with this set of problems, over technological ones. Effe-
ct of new technology on path of exclusion These conclusions mean that Saudi Arabia's production capacity is in
terminal decline, while Kuwait's oil production capacity will soon begin to decline. Staniford believes that there will
be sharp declines in Saudi output and slower decline rates, beginning slightly later, for the Kuwaiti oilfields. This
finding is wholly consistent with those of oil industry insider Matt Simmons, an oil industry investment banker and
a member of the 2001 Bush¬ Cheney Energy task force. In his massively researched study of Saudi Arabian oil
reserves, published as Twilight in the Desert: the Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the \Vorld Economy, Simmons
reaches the same overall conclusions. Regarding the role of advanced recovery technologies in maintaining oil
output, Simmons observes that: 2005 Figure 1. Peak Oil Date. /None of these technical breakthroughs created
an .oilfield fountain of youth," which is what would be required for the [optimistic] forecaster's SCenarios [of end¬
less future production) to unfold. Instead, these advances combined to extract the easily recoverable oil from giant
fields even faster, and led to decline curves,

( _ ) Best evidence proves – peak is real and coming


Byron, Ph.D. in Political Science & author 2006
p.35
(Michael, Infinity’s Rainbow The Politics of Energy, Climate and Globalization)

The world is positioned on the brink of a historical chasm. Everything familiar is about to vanish - beginning with
where and how most of us live. The physical and proximate cause of this wrenching change is the imminence of
what is called peak oil - the point at which half of all of the oil the world holds will have been taken from the ground.
From that point onwards, every year less oil will be produced, at ever greater cost. Civilization is almost completely
reliant upon growing supplies of cheap oil. But oil is a non-renewable resource. at least \vithin the human timescale.
For the planet as a whole. the amount of oil discovered each year reached a peak about forty years ago and has been
declining ever since. The oil supply curve is called the ~Hubbert Curve." because it was first described back in the
1950s by legendary petroleum geologist M. King Hubbert. So long as there was more oil in the ground waiting to be
discovered than was consumed. the supply of cheap oil was ever-growing. But once the peak of oil production is hit.
that will be the end of cheap oil. The effects of this will be world shaking.

14
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

Time Frame – Now


( _ ) Peak impacts are already occurring – the peak is now
Kunstler, author and critic May 10th, 2007
p. http://www.dailyreckoning.com.au/post-peak-oil/2007/05/10/
(James Howard “Post Peak Oil: Effects on the Stock Market and World Economy”)

The reason we don't even call "money" by its former name anymore is precisely because we realize at some semi-
conscious level that "liquidity" is not really money. Liquidity is a flow of hallucinated surplus wealth. As long as it
flows in one direction, into financial markets, valve-keepers along the pipeline, like Goldman Sachs, Citibank, or the
hedge funds, can siphon off billions of buckets of liquidity. The trouble will come when the flow stops - or reverses!
That will be the point where we will rediscover that liquidity really is different from money, and if we are really
unlucky we'll discover that the U.S. dollar is actually different from real wealth. Noland and others recognize the
severe distortions in the finance sector, and they are surely correct to flag the implied dangers. But even these clear-
eyed observers survey the disturbing finance scene without factoring the global energy situation. In a nutshell: world
oil production seems to have peaked about 10 months ago. Being just past peak, there is still a huge amount of oil
going into world economies. But being just past peak oil we are now seeing how complex systems proceed toward
instability and breakdown when the underlying energy flow turns toward contraction. The situation in finance is
particularly sensitive and acute because an overall contraction in available energy means the end of industrial
expansion (a.k.a. "growth") at "normal" rates of three to seven percent annually. More to the point, it means that
certificates, contracts, deals, plays, and rackets pegged to the expectation of growth will lose their legitimacy.
Meaning, stocks, bonds, collateralized debt obligations, hedges - anything that represents the hope and expectation
for more-of-anything - will no longer be understood to represent real value. The current euphoric hysteria should therefore be
viewed as a form of disorder in its own right. The players in the markets are making their moves based on misunderstood signals. They think the
world is awash in energy and prosperity. They believe Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) and Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the
United States Federal Reserve. They believe that the mortgage fiasco and the associated imploding housing bubble are just a couple of temporary
zits on the handsome face that Wall Street presents to the world. In the background, though, feedback loops are aligning to rock the systems we
depend on for daily life in the real world. Capital will become unavailable. Food will grow scarce. Trade will be interrupted.
Mobility will be constrained. And an awful lot of pissed-off people will be poised to fight over the table scraps of
industrial civilization.

15
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

Time Frame – 5 Years


( _ ) Peak oil is 5 years away.
Evans – Producer of PetroApocalypse Now – 4/24/2008
(Andrew, “Peak oil and charging for gas-guzzlers,” The Guardian)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/apr/24/oil.climatechange

Matt Simmons, a leading peakist says $300 may be five years away. The reason the oil price has been rising is
because global oil production has been flat for three years and there is no spare capacity of the crude oil required by
the world's refineries. Food prices have risen rapidly because agriculture is enormously energy intensive. As far as
the dollar goes, the US government has had no option but to print more money to pay for the oil, creating a
dangerous inflationary spiral. Peak oil is real; it is time economists faced up to the limits to growth and stopped
trying to pretend that this is something they can fix by fiscal jiggery-pokery.

16
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

AT: “Lots of Reserves”


We have oil, but it’s politics limiting our drilling.
Luhnow – journalist – 4/5/2007
(David, “Mexico Tries to Save A Big, Fading Oil Field,” Wall Street Journal via Rigzone)
http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=43560

But even if there is enough oil under the ground, the politics above the ground get in the way. The vast majority of
the world's remaining big fields are in developing countries and run by government-owned oil companies, which are
often less efficient than their investor-owned counterparts. State-owned companies in many countries, like those in
Venezuela and Iran, are milked by their government for taxes, which reduces their ability to invest in new oil
technology. Legal restrictions make it hard for national oil companies to work with foreign firms, cutting them off
from techniques used in the rest of the industry. Mexico's Pemex suffers many of these limitations. Its last two chief
executives failed to persuade Mexico's Congress to remove foreign investment restrictions, which are embedded in
Mexico's constitution and viewed as an embodiment of Mexican nationalism. Mexico's new president, Felipe
Calderon, is expected to try to end the investment restrictions, but he too faces long odds.

Lack of drilling technologies is what limits our oil supply.


Luhnow – journalist – 4/5/2007
(David, “Mexico Tries to Save A Big, Fading Oil Field,” Wall Street Journal via Rigzone)
http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=43560

So in 1998, Pemex began injecting massive amounts of nitrogen into the field, which was the oil-field equivalent of
squeezing a balloon from the bottom. Output more than doubled to a peak of 2.3 million barrels a day in 2004. That
decision was hailed as a technical success, but it was just a temporary fix: It only sucked the field dry faster and set
the stage for a steeper decline. Now, Pemex's lack of money and technology is a handicap in managing the decline.
The company didn't have any machinery on its Cantarell platforms to separate water from oil -- standard equipment
for most of the rest of the industry. So when water from an underground aquifer began to creep into wells, a
common occurrence in an older field, Pemex had to shut down the wells. The company closed any well where the
water content rose to between 3% and 5% of the oil. By contrast, there are wells in Texas that are able to produce
with 99% water.

17
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

AT: Substitutes
( _ ) Oil substitutes and alternative sources can’t solve – too energy intensive
Byron, Ph.D. in Political Science & author 2006
p.49
(Michael, Infinity’s Rainbow The Politics of Energy, Climate and Globalization)

The looming specter of military and economic disasters will, in the near future, bring about redoubled efforts to
develop alternative energy sources. Strategy (2) above will come into play. However, given their political
dominance, it will be implemented by the same energy corporations which have already led humanity to the
precipice. Vast resources will be wasted on the production of oil substitutes from oil shale, oil sands, and coal. These
efforts, though immensely profitable to the energy multinationals due to governmental tax credits and subsidies, will
fail to resolve the underlying problem of energy resource depletion for a simple reason: At best, the amount of net
energy produced \vill be only marginally greater than the amount of energy used to produce the oil substitute. The
underlying concept is called energy returned on energy invested,ft and is usually abbreviated as EROEI.55 This is a
ratio consisting of the amount of energy required to produce some amount of energy bearing resource.

18
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

AT: Abiotic Oil


( _ ) Even if oil is proved to be abiotic it will have little to no effect on oil production
Heinberg Senior Fellow of Post Carbon Institute 10.6.04
p. http://www.rense.com/general58/biot.htm
(Richard “The Abiotic Oil Controversy” )

However, the tests of this claim are so far inconclusive: the best-documented "abiotic" test well was a commercial
failure. Thus even if the abiotic theory does eventually prove to be partially or wholly scientifically valid (and that
is a rather big "if"), it might have little or no practical consequence in terms of oil depletion and the imminent global
oil production peak. That is the situation in a nutshell, as I understand it, and it is probably as much information as
most readers will need or want on this subject. However, as this summary contradicts some of the more ambitious
claims of the abiotic theorists, it may be helpful to present in more detail some of the evidence and arguments on
both sides of the debate. Oil at the Core? Gold is right: there are hydrocarbons on other planets, even in deep
space. Why shouldn't we expect to find primordial hydrocarbons on Earth? This is a question whose answer is only
partly understood, and it is a complicated one. The planets known to have primordial hydrocarbons (mostly in the
form of methane, the simplest hydrocarbon) lie in the further reaches of the solar system; there is little evidence of
primordial hydrocarbons on the rocky inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars). On the latter, possibly the
hydrocarbons either volatized and escaped into space early in the history of the solar system, or - as Gold theorizes -
they migrated to the inner depths.

19
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

AT: Transitions Smooth


( _ ) The oil crunch will obliterate supply buffers causing wild price spikes

Paul Roberts, Harper's Magazine, Finalist for the National Magazine Award, The End of Oil: A Perilous New
World, 2004, p. 253-254

Worse, high prices will be accompanied by higher volatility. The supply buffer that major oil companies once held
was abandoned in the costcutting campaigns of the 1980s and 1990s. Now the remaining buffer against volatility —
OPEC’s spare capacity — will also vanish. As OPEC struggles to meet demand, the necessity for countries like
Saudi Arabia to deploy their excess production capacity will dramatically reduce the critical ability to compensate
for supply disruptions and unexpected spikes in demand. Like the United States before it, Saudi Arabia will lose its
mantle as swing producer and savior of world markets. In the absence of such a savior, even “normal” fluctuations
in supply or demand — for example, a cold snap in New England that unexpectedly drives up the demand for
heating oil, or a hurricane that turns back oil tankers coming from Venezuela — could lead to dramatic spikes in
price. And these are small disruptions. A large disruption, like a revolution in Venezuela or Nigeria, would mean a
loss of three million barrels a day. In the kind of tight, volatility-prone oil markets that may emerge in the next five
to ten years, “it is highly unlikely that substitute supplies could be made up,” warns Arab Oil and Gas magazine,
going on to predict that during such a disruption prices could easily be bid up past sixty dollars a barrel and kept
there for months.

( _ ) The oil peak causes wide price swings as supply and demand cross-cross

Julian Darley, “The yawning heights - looking out from the great oil peak,” January, 2003,
http://www.letterfromearth.org/index.php?letter=letterfromearth.01

Because of the complex part that economics and politics plays in both oil supply, demand and price, it will
only be possible to see with hindsight where the peak really was. It may be 2000 or as late as 2009. Few
petroleum geologists put it that late. In fact, the peak will most likely feel more like a very bumpy plateau, as
oil demand, triggered by different national economies trying to recover, keeps hitting the upper oil
production limit, then price hikes cool demand, and another cycle begins. When the US does this, as it may
well be doing now, the world will notice significant price swings, which will leave no-one untouched.

( _ ) The production peak means cycles of shocks and price collapses are inevitable

Colin Campbell, geologist for Oxford University, Texaco, British Petroleum and Amoco, former executive with
Shenandoah Oil, Amoco, Fina, former Chairman of the Nordic American Oil Company, Convener and Editor of the
Association for the Study of Peak Oil, Trustee of the Oil Depletion Analysis Center, and member of the American
Society of Petroleum Geologists, the Geological Society of London, and the Petroleum Institute of London, May 15,
2004, http://www.peakoil.net/uhdsg/Default.htm, accessed 8/2/04
Work proceeds in updating the depletion model. It is less than an exact science to try to spot the anomalies in
the data and to formulate realistic forecasts. It is an ongoing process, with the current status being reported.
The present model departs from earlier ones in recognition that the Middle East no longer has sufficient spare
capacity to discharge a swing role. A volatile epoch of recurring price shocks and consequential recessions
dampening demand and price is now regarded as more likely, with terminal decline setting in and becoming
self-evident by about 2010. The flat-earth detractors will relish pointing out that the estimates change, but
others may take it as progress.

20
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

Peak Kills Econ


( _ ) The global economy will be torn to shreds without immediate efforts to cut
consumption

Paul Roberts, Harper's Magazine, Finalist for the National Magazine Award, The End of Oil: A Perilous New
World, 2004, p. 12-14

Yet despite the staying power of the status quo, each year that energy consumption continues unabated, the end
of the current energy system not only becomes more inevitable but appears more likely to occur as a traumatic
event. As energy supplies become harder to transport, as environmental effects worsen, and as energy diplomacy sows
even greater geopolitical discord, the weight of the existing energy order becomes less and less bearable — and the possibility
of a disruption more undeniable. In the end, this question of disruption may be the most critical one of all — not simply for
policymakers and oil sheiks, but for anyone accustomed to filling up at the gas station or switching on an air conditioner; for it is not
simply change that affects us, but the rate of change — how quickly and cleanly one way of life is exchanged for another. A
swift, chaotic shift in our energy economy almost guarantees disruption, uncertainty, economic loss, even violence. By
contrast, were we somehow to manage a gradual, smooth change, phased in over time, we might be able to adapt,
minimizing our losses and even allowing the more clever of our species to profit from new opportunities. In fact, while the precise shape of
our energy future remains veiled, we can already discern two distinct paths for getting there. On the one hand, we can imagine the transition
as a kind of a proactive endeavor, driven by global consensus over some perceived threat, based on scientific analysis, and managed to
minimize disruption and maximize economic gain. On the other, we can picture a change that is less a transition than a
reaction, a patchwork of defensive programs triggered by some political or natural disaster. Suppose, for
example, that worldwide oil production hits a kind of peak and that, as at Ghawar, the amount of oil that oil companies and oil
states can pull out of the ground plateaus or even begins to decline — a not altogether inconceivable scenario. Oil is finite, and although vast
oceans of it remain underground, waiting to be pumped out and refined into gasoline for your Winnebago, this is old oil, in fields that have
been known about for years or even decades. By contrast, the amount of new oil that is being discovered each year is declining; the peak year
was 1960, and it has been downhill ever since. Given that oil cannot be produced without first being discovered, it is inevitable that, at some
point, worldwide oil production must peak and begin declining as well — less than ideal circumstances for a global economy that depends on
cheap oil for about 40 percent of its energy needs (not to mention 90 percent of its transportation fuel) and is nowhere even close to having
alternative energy sources. The last three times oil production dropped off a cliff — the Arab oil embargo of 1974, the Iranian
revolution in 1979, and the 1991 Persian Gulf War — the resulting price spikes pushed the world into recession. And these
disruptions were temporary. Presumably, the effects of a long-term permanent disruption would be far more
gruesome. As prices rose, consumers would quickly shift to other fuels, such as natural gas or coal, but soon
enough, those supplies would also tighten and their prices would rise. An inflationary ripple effect would set in.
As energy became more expensive, so would such energy-dependent activities as manufacturing and transportation. Commercial
activity would slow, and segments of the global economy especially dependent on rapid growth — which is to say, pretty
much everything these days — would tip into recession. The cost of goods and services would rise, ultimately
depressing economic demand and throwing the entire economy into an enduring depression that would make
1929 look like a dress rehearsal and could touch off a desperate and probably violent contest for whatever oil
supplies remained. When such a production peak will occur is, as we shall see, a Very Big Question. Optimists like the U.S.
government believe that a peak in oil production cannot occur before 2035 or so and that would give the world
plenty of time to find something else to burn. Pessimists, by contrast, a group whose members include geologists,
industry analysts, and a surprising number of oil industry and government officials, believe that a peak may
come much sooner — perhaps as soon as 2005. (Indeed, a small but vocal minority believes that the peak has already occurred and that
this is why oil companies like Shell and BP are struggling to find untapped sources of oil to replace all the barrels they produce.) Granted,
such a wide range of dates is not particularly helpful for any one wanting to know when to start hoarding diesel, light out for the hills, or
invest in oil company stocks. But lest you think it’s about time to buy a larger SUV, it is worth noting that even the oil optimists
concede, usually privately, that the important oil — that is, the oil that exists outside the control of the eleven-
country OPEC oil cartel — will in all likelihood peak between 2015 and 2020. We call this “important oil” because,
once it peaks, the free world will have to rely more each year on oil controlled by the likes of Saudi Arabia, Venezuela,
and Iran — governments that cannot be counted on to bear the best interests of the West in mind in setting pricing
policy. That brings us back to the question of smooth or sudden change. Admittedly, even if the world knew exactly when non-OPEC oil was
going to peak, only so much could be done to prepare, given the size of the existing oil infrastructure and the complacency of the average
consumer. Yet it’s also true that were Western governments to begin taking steps to reduce oil demand, or at least to

(CONTINUES)

21
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

(CONTINUED, NO TEXT OMITTED)

slow the rate at which it is growing (by, say, raising fuel efficiency standards for cars), the impact of such a peak
would be lessened dramatically — and the world would gain all the benefits of using something other than oil. At the same time, if
the consuming world instead continues in its current mode — known by energy economists and other worriers as “business as
usual” — oil demand will be so high by 2015 that a peak (or any big disruption, such as a civil war in Saudi Arabia or a
massive climate-related disaster that kills thousands and forces politicians to cut the use of oil and other hydrocarbons in a hurry) could be
an unmitigated disaster. Thus, the real question, for anyone truly concerned about our future, is not whether change is
going to come, but whether the shift will be peaceful and orderly or chaotic and violent because we waited too
long to begin planning for it.

22
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

Peak Kills Econ


The oil peak will collapse the global economy, ensuring planetary extinction

Dr. Malcolm Riddoch, Faculty of Communications and Creative Industries, Edith Cowan University, June 19,
2004, http://www.melbourne.indymedia.org/news/2004/06/72000_comment.php
There are lots of recent 2004 reports speculating about the Saudi's ability to increase production suggesting
that the peak plateau may already have arrived with midpoint by 2008. OPEC is apparently pumping at its
full rate, while everyone else from the Russians, US, North Sea to our own oil fields are apparently depleting
already. The first major oil shock could be as early as the fourth quarter of this year and some analysts
suggest that the Saudi's are on the verge of a collapse in their major Gawar oil field, the largest in the world.
The oil Beyond the current oil wars and the short term economic effects of unstable oil supply and prices
over the next 5 years, peak oil threatens an irreversible global economic decline that will force a massive,
radical and sustained change in our way of life as we transition to alternative energy sources and the
economic/political order they support. The cost of everything will rise and rise with the poorest of us the first
to start suffering. A terminal economic decline will begin with a recession in Australia the size of the one that
occurred in WW2, and this possibility is already being discussed in our mainstream media. Think an end to
public welfare across the board, food stamps and eventually food riots, massive rising unemployment, the
collapse of Medicare and public hospitals, a severe crisis in the cost and delivery of water ... but at least the
roads will be less congested, more room for the ultra wealthy and their gas guzzling limousines. At worst
peak oil could mean a complete global economic collapse sometime after 2010, middle class poverty and the
breakdown of law and order, truly gigantic starvation in the third world and the unrestrained outbreak of
global warfare with the risk of numerous 'limited' nuclear conflagrations. It could ultimately mean the
extinction of the human species through global nuclear war and its companions famine and pestilence.

23
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

Peak Kills Econ


( _ ) Crossing the production peak will cause recession and human extinction

Colin Campbell, geologist for Oxford University, Texaco, British Petroleum and Amoco, former executive
with Shenandoah Oil, Amoco, Fina former Chairman of the Nordic American Oil Company, Convener and
Editor of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil, Trustee of the Oil Depletion Analysis Center, and member of
the American Society of Petroleum Geologists, the Geological Society of London, and the Petroleum Institute of
London, October 23, 2002, http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/102302_campbell.html, accessed
8/12/04

FTW: What will be the likely effects of hitting the downslope of production? Campbell: Big question.
Simply stated: war, starvation, economic recession, possibly even the extinction of homo sapiens, insofar as
the evolution of life on earth has always been accomplished by the extinction of over-adapted species (when
their environmental niche changed for geologic or climatic reasons) leaving simpler forms to continue, and
eventually giving rise new more adapted species. If Homo sapiens figures out how to move back to
simplicity, he will be the first to do so.

( _ ) The coming oil shocks will cause total economic collapse and global nuclear
destruction

iNet News Service, “Genosuicide,” July 24, 2001,


http://www.hubbertpeak.com/news/article.asp?id=1835&ssectionid=0

We are heading directly for the Olduvai cliff. Apocalypse. Ragnarok. Doomsday. I have talked with many
individuals about the coming end of cheap oil and what it means for global civilization. Done my best to
explain the facts as laid out by Colin Campbell, Jean Laherrère, Duncan, Youngquist, Ivanhoe, etc.; brought
out the additional details provided on the great German website, energiekrise.de; and, above all, pointed out
the incisive historical insight of Joseph A. Tainter ("The Collapse of Complex Societies"). All in vain. I am
viewed by all and sundry as a "kook," an alarmist on the fringe of society who isn't quite right in the head, or
a vociferator of trivial opinions. Let's all turn to the sports pages.... The utter disconnect between oil prices
and oil depletion makes it impossible for any serious public consideration to be devoted to the imminent
collapse of the world economy. At least, any consideration by the American electorate. In contrast to the
somnolence of the U.S. voter, the current American high command, I have discovered through careful
attention, is perfectly aware of what is coming. Their goal (if any) seems to be to keep the masses absorbed
in diversions like gay rights, racial profiling and free drugs for seniors while they themselves prepare for the
Novus Ordo Seclorum (cf. the dollar bill) of rapid population reduction. America's "unconditional-surrender"
victory in WW II was a tragedy of unprecedented proportions. For it enabled not just the long-term survival
of Communism, the most murderous ideology the world has EVER seen, but the development of fantasy as
political tool. From 1945 on, the U.S. and its client states, imagining themselves possessed of divine powers,
have sucked the world dry of its cheap oil - the only chance our species will have had to make the leap to a
higher stage of evolution. It is useless to try to explain to invincibly ignorant economists that their math,
charts and tables are valid only within certain carefully prescribed limits. All but a few are convinced that
trees can and will grow to the moon, given enough money. The Zeitgeist is too powerful. Everyone wants to
jump off of the cliff at the same time, since anything else is unthinkable, and the political structure is
unchangeable. Thus we can sum it up: the American experiment has failed. The U.S. Constitution is a suicide
pact. For the few who would like some faint idea of what is ahead, I suggest reading about the savagery
which accompanied and followed the fall of the Western Roman Empire (ca. 450-650). When reading,
remember: now we have nukes.

24
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

Peak Kills Heg


( _ ) US efforts to secure dwindling reserves will collapse hegemony

Richard Heinberg, core faculty member at New College of California, The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of
Industrial Societies, 2003, p. 197-198
Regional rivalries and long-term strategy: Even without competition for energy resources, the world is full of
conflict and animosity. For the most part, it is in the United States’ interest to prevent open confrontation
between regional rivals, such as India and Pakistan, Israel and Syria, and North and South Korea. However,
resource competition will only worsen existing enmities. As the petroleum production peak approaches, the
US will likely make efforts to take more direct control of energy resources in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, the
Caspian Sea, Africa and South America — efforts that may incite other nations to form alliances to curb US
ambitions. Within only a few years, OPEC countries will have control over virtually all of the exportable
surplus oil in the world (with the exception of Russia’s petroleum, the production of which may reach a
second peak in 2010, following an initial peak that precipitated the collapse of the USSR). The US — whose
global hegemony has seemed so complete for the past decade — will suffer an increasing decline in global
influence, which no amount of saber rattling or bombing of ‘terrorist” countries will be able to reverse.
Awash in debt, dependent on imports, mired in corruption, its military increasingly overextended, the US is
well into its imperial twilight years.

25
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

Peak = Famine
( _ ) Oil depletion will lead to massive death through starvation.
Goodchild – book author – 10/29/2007
(Peter, “Peak Oil And Famine: Four Billion Deaths,” CounterCurrent.org)
http://www.countercurrents.org/goodchild291007.htm

Human population will collapse in any year in which there is a difference between the initial population and the
carrying capacity. The equation is not complex: (A) the previous year’s population (in billions) can be subtracted
from (B) the carrying capacity (in billions) to give us (C) the number of deaths (in billions) by famine. The data for
carrying capacity can be inserted by looking at similar data for oil production and population in the years 1900 to
2000. Some samples of future years are: 2031 (oil 13.8G bbl): (A) 3.5 minus (B) 3.4 equals (C) 0.1 2032 (oil 13.2G
bbl): (A) 3.4 minus (B) 3.4 equals (C) 0.1 2033 (oil 12.6G bbl): (A) 3.4 minus (B) 3.3 equals (C) 0.1 (The "normal,"
non-famine-related, birth and death rates are not included in these figures, since for most of pre-industrial human
history the sum of the two — i.e. the "growth rate" — has been nearly zero. And the future will be generally "pre-
industrial.") Applying the above equation to all the years from 2000 to 2100, we arrive at a total number of famine
deaths of about 4 billion, with the greatest annual mortality in the earlier years. Following these equations further
down the years, we find that by 2100 there are still 2 billion humans, with 10 million famine deaths in that year of.
The famine deaths do not become zero until nearly the end of the 22nd century, when the population reaches about 1
billion, with almost no oil left, duplicating the conditions of the year 1900 or earlier. That 22nd century may add
another 1 or 2 billion famine deaths to the 4 billion of the 21st century. These later figures, of course, are far less
reliable. War, disease, global warming, topsoil deterioration, and other factors will have unforeseeable effects of
their own. These equations obliterate all previous estimates of future population growth. Instead of a steady rise over
the course of the century, there will be a sudden slump, with the clash of the two giant forces of overpopulation and
oil depletion, followed by a less precipitous ride into the unknown future.

( _ ) Peak oil will cause worldwide famine and war.


Goodchild – book author – 10/29/2007
(Peter, “Peak Oil And Famine: Four Billion Deaths,” CounterCurrent.org)
http://www.countercurrents.org/goodchild291007.htm

At some point in the early years of the 21st century, there will be a clash of two giant forces: overpopulation and oil
depletion. That much has been known for a long time. It is also well known that population must eventually decline
in order to match the decline in oil production. A further problem, however, is that it will be impossible to get those
two giant forces into equilibrium in any gentle fashion, because of a matter that is rarely considered: that in every
year that has gone by — and every year that will arrive — the population of the earth is automatically adjusted so
that it is almost exactly equal to its carrying capacity. We are always barely surviving. Population growth is soaring,
whereas oil production is plunging. If, at the start of any year, the world’s population is greater than its carrying
capacity, only simple arithmetic is needed to see that the difference between the two numbers means that mortality
will be above the normal by the end of that year. In fact, over the course of the 21st century there will be about 4
billion deaths (probably about 3.6, to be more precise) above normal. Let us refer to those 4 billion above-normal
deaths as "famine deaths," for lack of a better term, since "peak oil" in terms of daily life is really "peak food." There
will, of course, also be famines for other reasons. It is also true that warfare and plague will take their toll to a large
extent before famine claims those same humans as its victims.

26
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

***OTHER STUFF WE THREW IN***

High Prices Bad – Terrorism


( _ ) High oil prices represent a symbolic defeat in the war on terror
Korin, codirector for the institute of Global studies, May 22 2008 p. lexis
(Anne, Congressional Testimony)
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, about ten years ago, Osama bin Laden stated that his target price for
oil is $144 a barrel and that the American people, who allegedly robbed the Muslim people of their oil, owe each
Muslim man, woman, and child $30,000 in back payments. At the time, $144 a barrel seemed farfetched to most.
Today, bin Laden is a mere $20 a barrel short of his target and there is little doubt it will be attained. I would like to
impress upon this Committee that $144 a barrel oil will be perceived as a victory for the Jihadist movement
and a reaffirmation that the economic warfare component of its campaign against the West is a resounding
success. There is no need to elaborate on the implications of such a victory in terms of loss of U.S. prestige
and our ability to prevail in the Long War of the 21st century. It is therefore imperative that the U.S. Congress
do its utmost to forestall such a setback.

( _ ) High oil prices fund countries that donate to terrorists, increasing their resources
Korin, codirector for the institute of Global studies, May 22 2008 p. lexis
(Anne, Congressional Testimony)
Deeply embroiled in a struggle against radical Islam, nuclear proliferation, and totalitarianism, the U.S. faces
a crude reality: While its relations with the Muslim world are at an all- time low, more than 70 percent of the
world's proven oil reserves and over a third of production are concentrated in Muslim countries. The very
same Shi'a and Sunni theocratic and dictatorial regimes that most strongly resist America's efforts to bring
democracy to the Middle East are the ones that, because of the market's tightness, currently drive the world
oil economy. While the U.S. economy bleeds, oil-producing countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran sympathetic
to, and directly supportive, of radical Islam are on the receiving end of staggering windfalls. In 2006, the
United States spent about $260 billion on foreign crude oil and refined petroleum products. This year, with oil
hovering over $125 a barrel, the figure could surpass $500 billion, the equivalent of our defense budget. At today's
prices, foreign oil producers are extracting a tax of more than $1,600 a year from every American man, woman and
child.

27
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

High Prices Hurt Soft Power


( _ ) Oil dependence destroys US ability to push foreign policy goals abroad like human
rights and prolif, empowers dictators, causes oil wars, and risks global instability
Korin, codirector for the institute of Global studies, May 22 2008 p. lexis
(Anne, Congressional Testimony)

The flow of petrodollars from consuming economies to the coffers of producers not only casts a large shadow over
America's prospects of winning the war on terrorism but it also limits U.S. diplomatic maneuverability on central
issues like human rights and nuclear proliferation. Perhaps the most powerful statement of the impact on America's
ability to accomplish its foreign policy goals came from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who in April 2006
told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "We do have to do something about the energy problem. I can tell you
that nothing has really taken me aback more, as Secretary of State, than the way that the politics of energy is . . .
"warping" diplomacy around the world. It has given extraordinary power to some states that are using that power in
not very good ways for the international system, states that would otherwise have very little power." One of these
states is Iran. With 10 percent of the world's oil reserves and the world's second largest natural gas reserve, Iran's
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems unfazed by the prospects of international sanctions against his country as a
result of its efforts to develop nuclear weapons. At high oil prices, leaders of human-rights violating countries like
Azerbaijan, Chad, Sudan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, too, can persecute their people with impunity. Another
setback to democracy was delivered last May when Kazakhstan's leader Nursultan Nazarbayev declared himself
president for life. The control over a large part of the world's oil and gas market allows Russia to bully its European
neighbors, to play "hard to get" on Iran, and to undermine democracy in former Soviet republics like Ukraine and
Georgia. Should Russia and other major gas producers like Iran go forth with plans to create an OPEC like natural
gas cartel, we can expect further consolidation of power among the energy producers. Oil also lubricates the so-
called Bolivarian revolution led by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, who is using Venezuela's oil wealth to buy
political influence in the Western Hemisphere and to consolidate an anti- U.S. bloc in the region. U.S. diplomacy is
further complicated by the indefatigable thirst for energy of emerging countries like China and India, which are
becoming increasingly dependent on the very same countries the United States is trying to rein in. The growing
appetite of developing Asian powers not only plays into the hands of the aforementioned rogue producing nations,
but also feeds what could become a global competition for control of energy resources. Rogue nations like Iran and
Sudan can now buy themselves the support of a third of humanity - not to mention the protection of Chinese veto
power on the U.N. Security Council - by signing energy deals with China and India. India now at stands at a
crossroads. As its electricity demand grows it faces three options. It can tie itself to Iran, the holder of the world's
second largest natural gas reserve, via the proposed 1600 mile long Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. Last month, Iran's
President Ahmadinejad visited India and Pakistan in an effort to seal the deal on this project. The implications of
such a pipeline should be very clear: decades long dependence of one billion Indians on Iran. Alternatively, India
can continue to develop its coal reserves and expand coal power generation. This is a sound approach from an
energy security perspective; however, India has been coming under global pressure - including that of the U.S.
government - to curb its greenhouse gas emissions. India's third option is to expand nuclear power development, in
collaboration with the U.S. At this point, foot dragging in Delhi is delaying ratification of a nuclear agreement with
the U.S. It appears that the Iranian option may hold sway. As the largest democracy in the world, India is a vital ally
to the United States. Congress should explore all options - including encouraging India and Pakistan to pursue an
alternative pipeline route from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan - to ensure that India does not tie its economic future
to Iran.

28
Miami Oxford Scholars 08 Backstopping/Peak Aff

AT: Prices=> Transition


( _ ) High prices don’t lead to green tech and alternative energy
Independent Extra June 25, 2008 p. l/n

There was a cartoon in Private Eye recently, showing a woman at breakfast reading a headline in the Daily Mail
about falling house prices. "I feel so silly," she says to her husband. "Only a week ago I was sitting right here,
worrying about climate change." When the going gets tough, the environment goes out of the economic window.
Such is the received wisdom among many in business and politics. The logic is clear: protecting the environment is
a luxury and it's one most of us just can't afford in an economic downturn. With oil prices up tenfold in the space of
a year, green policies look set to be jettisoned by left, right and centre. There is evidence everywhere: firms that
once trumpeted sustainability initiatives are now talking only about "profitable growth", "staff retention" and
"customer focus", while oil companies have begun digging up tar sands - which produce three times more CO2 than
crude oil - to increase supply. Those who oppose the new Manchester congestion charge say the introduction of the
scheme when roads are being blockaded by petrol-price protesters is "an act of political suicide". There has been, in
the words of the leading Oxford economist Professor Dieter Helm, a "shift back to the safe territory of concrete and
jobs". Despite politicians' continuing green rhetoric, he adds, "it is a sad fact that the environment is one of the first
things to suffer" when it comes to actual policy as we tighten our belts in the face of a looming economic slowdown.
**** We have been here before. The seasoned green lobbyist Jonathon Porritt recently wrote: "This all feels very
much like one of those periodic crunch moments for the sustainability agenda. Fuel-tax protests. Rebellious
backbenchers. The kind of febrile atmosphere we last saw in 2000. The Tory press on the warpath." Eight years ago,
haulage firms and farmers blockaded key oil facilities in protest against the fuel-tax escalator. Within a few weeks,
the Government caved in. Mondeo man, feral and unforgiving, stalked the Treasury's corridors of impotence. So
how does it look now? "My instinct is that politicians will take this as an opportunity to go slower on green
initiatives," Porritt says. "I'm nervous. Any opportunity to go slower they will treat as manna from heaven. Climate
change is still tough for politicians to sell." It's worse than that, according to another green veteran, Tom Burke,
who has been director of Friends of the Earth, adviser to three environment secretaries and now is green watchman
for Rio Tinto plc. "There has been quite a shift of mood inside the Government already," he says. "People are getting
very anxious about economic security amid the fear that a deeper and a nastier downturn is on the way.
Vulnerability to oil price hikes is very high on the agenda. Green markets may actually take a harder and longer hit
than mainstream markets, more for psychological than economic reasons. When confidence evaporates, price and
safety dominate."

29