Run Out of Oil?
By Arnold Kling
George Will quotes Cafe Hayek’s Russ Roberts’ pistachio example.
Of course, oil supplies are, as some people say with a sense of profound discovery, “finite.” But that distinguishes oil not at all from land, water or pistachio nuts.
Russell Roberts, an economist, says: Imagine that you love pistachio nuts and are given a room filled 5 feet deep with them. But you must eat them in the room and must leave the shells. When will you have eaten them all? Never. Because as it becomes increasingly difficult to find nuts amidst the shells, the cost of the nuts, in time and effort, will become too high. You will seek a substitute — pistachios from a store, or another snack.
For Discussion. Do you think that it is possible that over the next fifty years the cost of oil in terms of labor will decline?