Hydrocarbon Pessimism: Get Your Story Straight
By Bryan Caplan
A sharp post by David Friedman:
One argument is that we are running out of hydrocarbons and should therefore reduce our use of hydrocarbons, reduce energy consumption and switch to alternative energy sources. The other argument is that we are, by burning hydrocarbons, increasing the amount of CO2 in the air and warming the planet, and we should therefore reduce our use of hydrocarbons, reduce energy consumption, and switch to alternative energy sources.
[I]f Rutledge is right, the two sets of calculations are inconsistent with each other. Nobody who believes one ought to believe the other.
Question for hydrocarbon pessimists: Which of these two stories do you think is right?
Discuss amongst yourselves, we’re listening. Anyone got a fancy way to reconcile the stories?