DVD Review: A Crude Awakening, The Oil Crash

Discussion of books relating to oil, sustainability and everything else talked about here.

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Bandidoz
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Post by Bandidoz »

Just refer to it as "Global Peak Oil".

I prefer Skrebowski's language of "Peak Flow" as it conveys the effect better, and "flow" is the issue that people tend to not get (i.e. think of reserves more so than rate of production).

I can point you towards http://www.thefreedictionary.com/theory for definition of the word "theory" where you will see references to "conjecture", "speculation" etc and I suspect that most laypersons will see it in those terms. The word has too much ambiguity.


PS: I've had a look at http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php? ... icle/4066/ - it seems most of these "negative" reviews consist more of people airing their own limited knowledge ("nuclear power will fix it").

Chris's comment....
The film's target audience is those who won't go and see it. Those would will go and see it needed something in more depth and not endless pictures of cars. And 2 minute clips of talking heads
....is about the only useful material I've seen written about the film so far.
Last edited by Bandidoz on Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Adam1 »

newmac wrote:...I also disagree with much of the article (especially the bit on depletion), but agree with some - especially about the way it was filmed.

Derek is more than open to be convinced (although I believe that because of the unknowns, its impossible to be totally convinced), and has not ruled out we are near peak, so why don't you put a response together outlining your points. That would be a lot more helpful than some of the subjective rants he is currently receiving, which apart from making us look like irrational idealogists do little else.
I am reading an updated edition of the "first" peak oil book "The Party's Over", which didn't form part of my early PO reading list and I'd say it pretty comprehensively demolishes the well worn arguments your friend puts. Have you had any luck going through the basics with him? What is his background? Any education in the sciences?
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Post by Bandidoz »

Peak Oil, although sensible and extremely probable is not a proven fact - even for historical countries.
If that's the kind of argument we're up against then I'd suggest we'd be wasting our time trying to "educate" such people; it's a case of those either believing it or not according to their own preconceptions - just like those "reviews" posted earlier.

Unfortunately, "educated" people have a habit in lacking common-sense.
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Post by clv101 »

newmac wrote:Secondly, Peak Oil, although sensible and extremely probable is not a proven fact - even for historical countries.
If peak oil is not a proven fact in say the US or UK could you give me an example of something that is a proven fact? What would you have to observe in the US or UK for you to accept peak oil as a proven fact in those countries?
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Post by newmac »

A proven fact takes a lot more than 10 years of post production decline in the UK (see Russia). Does this mean that I don't think the UK and US have peak, no of course not - because where things cannot be proven beyond doubt we rely on common sense and logic based on empirical observations etc. Russia could have been deemed to have peak well back but logic and common sense points to other reasons for its first production hump. In the UK and US common sense points to a true peak but that is not proven fact - and to claim so gives ammunition to all those trying to (unsuccessfully) discredit the probability of a near term peak. Claiming to have proved something that is essentially unprovable discredits the argument.

Bandidoz, I agree that Peak Flow would probably be a better term and more understandable to most people when first explained.

Theory is however the correct word in a scientific context. I agree with you that some people may misinterpret the word through naivety, but I don't think using an incorrect word because some people deliberately use it to obfuscate. Using a different, and less correct, word would just lead them to obfuscate slightly differently and possibly, due to an incorrect word being used, actually have some right.

The word theory has a number of distinct meanings in different fields of knowledge, depending on their methodologies and the context of discussion.

this is what Wikipedia (ok probably not the best source) has to say about Theory.

In science, a theory is a mathematical or logical explanation, or a testable model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise falsified through empirical observation. It follows from this that for scientists "theory" and "fact" do not necessarily stand in opposition. For example, it is a fact that an apple dropped on earth has been observed to fall towards the center of the planet, and the theories commonly used to describe and explain this behaviour are Newton's theory of universal gravitation (see also gravitation), and general relativity.


In common usage, the word theory is often used to signify a conjecture, an opinion, or a speculation. In this usage, a theory is not necessarily based on facts; in other words, it is not required to be consistent with true descriptions of reality. This usage of theory leads to the common incorrect statement "It's not a fact, it's only a theory." True descriptions of reality are more reflectively understood as statements which would be true independently of what people think about them. In this usage, the word is synonymous with hypothesis.
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Post by clv101 »

newmac wrote:A proven fact takes a lot more than 10 years of post production decline in the UK (see Russia). Does this mean that I don't think the UK and US have peak, no of course not - because where things cannot be proven beyond doubt we rely on common sense and logic based on empirical observations etc. Russia could have been deemed to have peak well back but logic and common sense points to other reasons for its first production hump. In the UK and US common sense points to a true peak but that is not proven fact - and to claim so gives ammunition to all those trying to (unsuccessfully) discredit the probability of a near term peak. Claiming to have proved something that is essentially unprovable discredits the argument.
Your mention of Russia unnecessarily muddies the water ? the Russia pre-Soviet collapse peak is not analogous to the UK?s ?99 peak, nothing to do with peak oil. I stick by the idea that it is an observed fact that UK oil production has peaked (like Newton?s apple falling to Earth) as consistent with the theory of peak oil (like Newton?s theory of gravity).

Oil production in the UK is no more likely to rise above 3 million barrels per day than Newton?s apple is to jump back into the tree.
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Post by newmac »

I agree that the possibility of the UK production going above 3mbpd is extremely small but it is not analogous to an apple jumping back into the tree.

As far as I am aware, we know of no logical way that an apple will move against the force of gravity and empically it has never happened, we can therefore put the probability as 0.

It is however, albeit extremely unlikely, theoretically possible that North Sea production does rise above 3mbpd. The probability of it happening is determined by looking at facts - 9 years of decline, extensive exploration, limiting returns on technological advancements, government and industry consensus that peak is passed and so forth - which taken together lead one to a probablity nearing 0.

The Russia example was used to show that a production peak needs to be examined to determine whether it is a true impossed peak, in that case it was ease to determine by looking at the facts that in all probability it was not due to a theoretcial maximum being reached. Later empircial evidence proved this as fact.
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Post by Aurora »

The film 'A Crude Awakening' is now available :wink: on Google:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... &plindex=0
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Post by Bandidoz »

Thanks for that.

Even by only 1/4 of the way through the film it has that "Death-By-Viewfoil" feel about it. There doesn't appear to be a narrative that tells a coherent story, so it feels quite superficial and disjointed. For me, there are a few interesting tit-bits such as the Russian contributions, but I don't feel that this film manages to hold the viewer's attention anything like as well as EoS does. I suspect they got lots of commentators on board to emphasise there being widespread concern, but I feel as though it's a distraction that hampers what little flow there is in the film from Matt Savinar. In fact it really drags on.

Rating: 2/5
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Post by J. R. Ewing »

Bandidoz wrote:
newmac wrote:Peak Oil theory is not purely an observation.
I would dearly love to slap everyone who uses the word "theory" in this domain.

The word "theory" carries a connotation of there being uncertainty about the principle, as though it's unproven.

Peak oil as a concept has been proven by experience (observation) many times over. It may have been a theory (hypothesis) in 1956, but it stopped being one a long time ago.

Please can we be careful and consistent with the f**king language we use! ;) :P


PS: The following line deserves a punch in the face. It's a truly damaging piece of word-wank:
That might be the true conspiracy of the peak oil theory.
Wow some people carry "words" in such high esteem. No wander so many people get so offended so quickly.
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Post by emordnilap »

J. R. Ewing wrote:
Bandidoz wrote:
newmac wrote:Peak Oil theory is not purely an observation.
I would dearly love to slap everyone who uses the word "theory" in this domain.

The word "theory" carries a connotation of there being uncertainty about the principle, as though it's unproven.

Peak oil as a concept has been proven by experience (observation) many times over. It may have been a theory (hypothesis) in 1956, but it stopped being one a long time ago.

Please can we be careful and consistent with the f**king language we use! ;) :P


PS: The following line deserves a punch in the face. It's a truly damaging piece of word-wank:
That might be the true conspiracy of the peak oil theory.
Wow some people carry "words" in such high esteem. No wander so many people get so offended so quickly.
The point stands, though. :wink:
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Post by J. R. Ewing »

I'm just downloading a torrent of this film :D I'd buy it but I'm afraid I'm too skint what with the price of household energy bills these days :(
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Post by J. R. Ewing »

Just watched it and found it boring, did manage to stay awake until the end though. There's nothing new here, it's no different to the other PO documentaries. All I can say is that it's been a waste of resources :wink: .

Please wake me up when someone finally makes the "Threads" version of PO 8) .
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Post by clv101 »

J. R. Ewing wrote:There's nothing new here...
Remember it is some 2 years old now.
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Post by RenewableCandy »

clv101 wrote:
J. R. Ewing wrote:There's nothing new here...
Remember it is some 2 years old now.
And anyway it's Know Thy Punters...the film wasn't really made for the likes of us, more for the less-well-informed-about-PO.
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