A very interesting debate between progressive thinkers on Peak Oil going down -- Greg Palast and Richard Heinberg:
Why Palast Is Wrong
An Open Letter to Greg Palast on Peak Oil
I guess this is in anticipation of a new book from Palast -- the BBC reporter who did so much work to get at the facts of the Florida Election debacle (in his earlier book, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy "). It sounds like Greg is splitting hairs on this, but it reminds me a lot of the spin-spin and counter-spin that added to the confusion around, for example, Global Warming (oh, it's not real, scientists disagree about it, it's effects are exaggerated for political reasons, etc.).
Cause it sounds like they agree on the big issues: conservation, alternative energy sources, environmental impact of a fossil fuel economy. Palast simply seems not to buy the fact that we are quickly running out of crude -- the rest appears to be a conspiracy (oil co's, govt, etc).
It's clear: the last barrel of oil is gonna be a whole lot harder to get than the first. Peak Oil is the point at which we have consumed as much as is left in the ground -- but we'll never get the total of the "second half". It seems important to understand this if we are to plan and manage a better scenario for the future. Even if we don't agree with an "oil crash" or other slightly more "apocalyptic" future-views, we can see the very serious implications of a country like China or India driving energy markets to price extremes that will make our economy strain.
While it's important to manage our fears, and check our businesses and government; it's more important to stay clear about the facts and focus on the truth. Eyes open folks; keep em open.