October 2007

Editorial comment

There are more false, misleading, bogus, but well-sounding arguments that apply to the energy industry than to any other endeavor. Most of these specious arguments serve to preserve the status quo. I’ve attended conferences in our industry where “alternative energy” meant natural gas from shale instead of sandstone, or heavy oil instead of light oil. Real alternatives to oil and gas often become the object of ridicule and bogus scientific reasoning. Here are some of the techniques of energy propaganda. First, always use older data for comparison. With emerging technologies, the situation “on the ground” is changing so rapidly that data becomes old rather quickly. Of course, that’s the way it should be, but this rapid change also allows the use of outdated data. For example, wind resource assessment was estimated surprisingly low throughout the 1980s and ’90s, relative to what is known today.

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