Oil and gas in the capitals ///

The issue of oil peaking is a curious one that excites attention in Washington, both among politicians and at the Pentagon. Its core notion is that global oil production is reaching a limit and will, thereafter, go into rapid decline. True believers see this happening as early as 2010. Skeptics say that the whole concept is bull—that the Stone Age did not end because of a shortage of stones, but because the Bronze Age came along. In other words, technology will see us through any problems. For once, believers and disbelievers are both right. Oil is a finite natural resource that will eventually, and by definition, run out. Recently, the Government Accountability Office (which is the old General Accounting Office that, for obscure reasons of political correctness, was renamed a few years ago) issued a report backing the peaking concept but—employing the old maxim that if you give a number . . .

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