Friday, September 05, 2008


In a flippant, hand-waving and one-sided piece full of childish metaphors that neglects a whole slew of facts, Don Boudreaux assures us that oil will never run out. His contention is that oil exploration is a matter of economics, not physics. He tells us the rather well-known fact that getting more oil out of the ground is just going to become more expensive, not impossible. Surprise!

There is absolutely no mention of the effects of oil consumption on climate change, or even the geopolitical implications of continuing to probe around in politically unstable regions where oil is difficult to extract. Nor does he think that there's something inherently wrong and problematic in a resource becoming super-expensive and unaffordable to the majority. We are simply supposed to feel good about the fact that we can always get oil, even if we have to slit throats and plunge a majority of the world's citizens into abject poverty.

And based on that last statement, lest someone think I am a bleeding heart liberal, let me also say that Don Boudreaux is also not a good economist; a good economist tries to say which resource it will be most profitable and efficient to utilize, not which resource we will kill ourselves over.

Oil indeed will never run out, not if we disconnect one half of our brain and keep on constructing half-baked and biased arguments.



Blogger Chetan said...

I am surprised that you bothered to write a post on a column written by that 'eminent' 'straight talking' 'economist.' This is like liberals responding to an Ann Coulter column. Just let him and his legions revel in their smugness.

I think his param bhakta's maxim applies to Don perfectly, "Conviction is not scarce in India, or in the blogosphere; humility certainly is."

Don's followers do not 'believe' in global warming and any attempts to refute his arguments on that front are going to be futile. So why bother?

9:31 AM  
Blogger Ashutosh said...

You are right; such eyewash is probably not worth responding to. But I guess sometimes I feel I am as entitled to my sense of outrage as conservatives are...except that my outrage is real.

9:39 AM  

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