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Arthur E. Berman is a petroleum geologist with 37 years of oil and gas industry experience. He is an expert on U.S. shale plays and is currently consulting for several E&P companies and capital groups in the energy sector. Berman has published more than 100 articles on oil and gas plays and trends. He has been interviewed about oil and gas topics on CBS, CNBC, CNN, CBC, Platt’s Energy Week, BNN, Bloomberg, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone and The New York Times. He worked 20 years for Amoco (now BP) and 17 years as consulting geologist. He has an M.S. (Geology) from the Colorado School of Mines and a B.A. (History) from Amherst College.

His website is www.artberman.com

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Kunstler skewers everything from kitsch to greed, prejudice, bloodshed, and brainwashing in this wily, funny, rip-roaring, and profoundly provocative page- turner, leaving no doubt that the prescriptive yet devilishly satiric A World Made by Hand series will continue.” — Booklist


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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

5 Responses to “KunstlerCast 275 — Art Berman Clarifies Whatever Happened to Peak Oil”

  1. chipshot March 20, 2016 at 5:57 pm #

    Difficult to imagine a scenario that will allow us to avoid price spikes and supply shortages like those of the ’70s.`

    If that does happen, the consequences are certain to be more immediate and extreme than 40 years ago, since the economy and people’s finances are much weaker today.

    Get your bicycles, electric bikes, 100mpg mopeds and scooters ready.
    We’ll probably see shortages of those modes of transport like we did in the ’70s, only much worse as the population has more than doubled.

    • I AM SULLY March 27, 2016 at 7:00 pm #

      I think the next price swing will probably follow the next wave of central bank money printing.

  2. I AM SULLY March 27, 2016 at 5:55 pm #

    I love Art Berman and he is very reasonable, but was this really outside of Hubbert’s original theory? Didn’t he posit a “rocky plateau”? I don’t know if he ever specified how long that sine-wave pattern of Oil Price VS Economic Growth, but I suppose it could last a few decades and might be the real start of “Peak Oil” effects. To me, price collapse in oil exists in concert with collapse in copper prices, world trade, etc. Very dangerous times. Thanks so much for your work Mr. Kunstler, and please have Mr. Berman back often!

  3. DurangoKid March 31, 2016 at 8:06 pm #

    On the other hand, did Hubbert foresee the financial institutions going berserk with free money and bailouts? In his lifetime banking was a somewhat saner enterprise.

    More and more I’m coming to the conclusion that one way to ameliorate the current difficulties of production, consumption, and finance would be to lower productivity and raise wages. We’ve gone so far into automation and labor arbitrage that the market for the commodities produced has declined to the point where debt is unserviceable. In the case of an individual company, reducing costs always seems to make sense. ‘So what if everyone else goes into debt to buy my stuff?’ seems to be the attitude. Collectively, everyone suffers if there is no demand for products and worse still considerable fractions of everyone’s earnings are for debt service. To me the solution seems to be less exosomatic energy and more human labor.

    Nowhere in the presentation was it mentioned that producing more oil is bad for the atmosphere. Even at declining rates, if production continues we’ll likely jet past the 2C point and into all sorts of climate chaos. The one part of Jevon’s Paradox never mentioned is the environmental effects of increased efficiency. This is yet another reason we must decrease productivity.

    On the upside, the current difficulties in the oil business may be a necessary step toward moving away from oil as an energy source. It won’t be easy or pleasant, but it has to happen if some sort of civilization is to continue. Many changes are accompanied by some sort of crisis or another. Leaving oil behind will be no different.

  4. jayrome April 6, 2016 at 8:22 am #

    I think that a society that has been created to operate on cheap energy, is extremely sensitive to price fluctuations. For example, when gas is cheap, sales of the largest SUV’s spikes. Gas becomes expensive, people dump their SUV for the hybrids. The pendulum effect. Car culture rolls on.
    We still have a hard time admitting that there are finite limits of fossil energy, but the “at what cost” governs availability.
    Some believe that there are chemical processes under extreme pressure and high temperature of Earths core that produces hydrocarbons from dissolved carbon dioxide in magma. Is there any credible scientific proof that this process is true? Earth abiotic process?
    The Germans developed the craft of making gasoline from coal, so that everything keeps rolling. Again the question “at what price”?
    Your guest made it abundantly clear that fossil energy is price sensitive, and amplified by oil traders speculation or manipulation. We have an addiction problem with oil / cars. Maybe its the perception of a last personal freedom of the open road.