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The Myth of Peak Oil

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Prad Uppula

on 4 June 2014

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Transcript of The Myth of Peak Oil

The Peak Oil
Conspiracy Theory

Peak Oil theory is the idea that the world will eventually reach a maximum rate of oil production, which will then be followed by a terminal decline.
The implications of the theory place the constituents of such a scenario in a restricted future in which people have to limit the usage of oil products and consumption in general.
Although the theory has valid foundations, conspirators worldwide allude to uncertainties to fuel their skepticism. The Peak Oil Conspiracy asserts that the peak oil theory was created by oil producing conglomerates in order to create a false sense of scarcity and raise oil prices
The ideas behind the conspiracy theory can be corroborated or refuted depending on how reasoning, perception, and are utilized.

Strengths of Reasoning
On the Grand Scale
In most cases, people tend question and scrutinize the actions and words of those in power
This tendency to question authority can be beneficial as it can keep others from taking advantage of us
It can also be a disadvantage if taken to too far of a degree, as seen in this case.
In the end it's important to realize that reason and perception/emotion have to be used accurately when we examine whether a claim is legitimate or not
We cannot always simply claim that something is false because of the person who made the claim
Any given scenario is validated or refuted based on reason. Reason is a source of knowledge that provides more certainty
The premises of a given scenario have to be supported by facts and reasoning.
As cited by the theories of Rationalism, reason is the fundamental component that allows us to validate and refute certain contentions
The Peak Oil Conspiracy theory is validated and refuted by various reasons. We will analyze the different viewpoints and their foundations for fallacies and evaluate them against inductive, deductive, and informal reasoning

An important question to consider throughout our exploration of the conspiracy theory:

To what extent do we tend to question those in power and how does this cloud our judgement?
The validity of the conspiracy theory is based on the premises.
According to Wall Street Journal Research, the global oil production has been exponentially rising since December of 2002 to September of 2012. This use of statistics regarding the situation strengthens the conspirator's side of the argument
Through inductive reasoning, using the data, we can infer the thought process behind conspirator's ideas; the conspiracy theory is valid in the idea that the oil consumption has been rising without bound.
The use of inductive reasoning allows conspirators to make the generalization that the oil supply has exponentially risen in recent years, possibly alluding that there may be no limits on supply.
Fallacious Uses of Reason
The idea of inductive reasoning can also be doubted. Inductive reasoning can violate the Law of identity, which asserts, If A, then A. In other words, inductive reasoning may hold false in the case that oil is a fixed resource and can not fluctuate in amount.
The idea of Post hoc ergo propter hoc is exemplfied in the reasoning that the conspiracy theorists make. They assume that because a rise in supply followed a rise in demand, it will always be the case.
Conspiracy theorists also make hasty generalizations. They assume that oil must be plentiful and abundant because production has increased all over the world; however, they do not realize it is possible for production to increase while supplies dwindle.
Conspirators also use confirmation bias to their advantage, skewing data to make it seem like although oil production has been increasing, resource availability has been constant.
The conspirators side of the argument use methods of reasoning that might not be ethical in that they exaggerate the graphs of the oil reserves that have been increasing
The arguments of the Conspiracists are highly implausible
Science shows that oil is a limited resource that takes millennium to replenish. The increase in consumption will result in the decimation of resources. Lateral thinking, inductive reasoning, some components of deductive reasoning, all support Peak Oil theory.
The conspiracists allude to the increase in resources to combat the consumption rates of oil. They refer to the new resources such as oil fracking and oil stored in ice caps in Canada and Antartica to be sustenance for the increase in Oil consumption in recent years. The skeptics assert the increase in oil resources will combat the exorbitant rates of consumption. However, they fail to realize that regardless of how much oil is discovered, there will be a day that it runs out.
Both arguments present scientific evaluations to support its cases. They allude to assertions made by graphs and research studies to qualify the reasoning behind their claims. Both arguments are plausible; however, there is definitely more legitimate support for Peak Oil theory, while detractors tend to use fallacious thinking.
Perception/Emotion Interfere With Reason
Emotionally jarring events are far more memorable than regular ones.
The 2007-2008 financial meltdown, which many blamed on Wall Street executives, was emotionally jarring.
Such events cause a long-lasting distrust in those with power.
These emotional feelings of betrayal can skew our perception in other situations, such as this one, making us view giant oil conglomerates in a negative light.
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