Tags: Expert: | Housing | Bust | Bigger | Than | Dot-Com

Expert: Housing Bust Bigger Than Dot-Com

Thursday, 25 August 2005 12:00 AM

Meet the 21st-century version of Paul Revere. Only this time it isn't the Red Coats that are the problem - it's peak oil prices.

His name is Kenneth Deffeyes and he's a former oilman who worked at Shell Oil for six years and is also an ex-Princeton economics professor.

His message?

He says worldwide production of oil peaks is near and thus will begin a rapid decline in oil - and beget a similar decline in the global economy.

"War, famine, pestilence and death," he says. "We've got to get the warning out."

Deffeyes acknowledges that highly respected sources - including the U.S. government - think that day of peak oil is distant, and most mainstream economists think it won't cause much of a ruckus.

But Deffeyes believes peak oil is coming in November and that it could bring humankind to the brink.

"It's been like pulling teeth to get public awareness," he said.

Deffeyes is a disciple of former Shell geologist M. King Hubbert, who correctly predicted that U.S. oil production would peak in the early 1970s. Deffeyes is also the author of "Hubbert's Peak" and "Beyond Oil: The View From Hubbert's Peak," which was published last spring.

He joins the oil crisis chorus at a time when other high-profile pundits are signaling that global dependence on oil is threatening worldwide economic stability.

But are they exaggerating the threat?

In a discussion on ABC's This Week on August 21, George Stephanopoulos, along with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and ABC News reporter Claire Shipman, lamented the high price of gas.

As reported in the Media Research Center's August 24th CyberAlert, Newsweek columnist George Will scolded the media - and his fellow This Week panelists - for the incessant, false reporting about "record high" gas prices.

"Gasoline today, the cost of a gallon, in real adjusted dollars," Will pointed out, "is less than it was in 1981, less than it was in 1935."

Will noted that "what we see is headline after headline telling people something that's not true: 'Record gas prices.' Then you go to the first paragraph or the fifth paragraph and it says, 'in nominal dollars' - which means disregard the headline."

Will added that " The American people spend on energy, as a portion of their consumer spending, a third less than they did in 1980."

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Meet the 21st-century version of Paul Revere. Only this time it isn't the Red Coats that are the problem - it's peak oil prices. His name is Kenneth Deffeyes and he's a former oilman who worked at Shell Oil for six years and is also an ex-Princeton economics professor....
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Thursday, 25 August 2005 12:00 AM
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