Sunday, July 17, 2005

Deffeyes: "We're speeding up the decline."

Orlando Sentinel: NO GUSHERS HERE.

With oil prices so much in the news, I checked in with Kenneth Deffeyes, my favorite black-gold naysayer from Princeton University and the author of Beyond Oil.

Deffeyes is among those experts who think we're near the peak of oil production. T. Boone Pickens, who's expecting $3-a-gallon gasoline, is among them, too.

But unlike most others, Deffeyes has a date in mind -- around this Thanksgiving -- after which production will decline.

By his calculation, we'll be out of oil and running on empty in 100 years.

My goal for ringing him up was to see if anything had changed from a year ago. With increasing demand in China and India, record prices, the war, was there any way -- possibly -- that the situation wasn't as bleak as it seems?

Nope. If anything, it's worse.

"We're burning the candle at both ends. We're speeding up the decline," he tells me.

Happy Turkey Day, folks.

It's interesting that the author draws no connection, not even a potential one, between the story above and the one before it, quoted below.

Sounds like this year's back-to-school shopping season will get a failing grade.

That's what I'm hearing from Orlando consultant Britt Beemer, who conducts national surveys every six weeks or so. "It's the worst in 10 years," Beemer said.

He quizzed parents across the country last week and found they're planning to spend just shy of $300 this summer -- $100 less than last year -- on new sneakers, backpacks and T-shirts.