Luke Gromen: Peak Cheap Oil Will Drive The Next Sovereign Debt Crisis

Won’t matter. The raw material’s needed to produce the batteries necessary isn’t remotely close. I think in one of Chris’ interviews, they went over the basic raw material needs for just a few items – if I recall, it was over 200 YEARS at current copper mining production to get the copper needed. You want to increase the rate? That adds enormous energy requirements to do so. Not to mention terrible for land.

It may have been Robert Bryce. This was a nice illustration on power generation raw material needs.

Actually, I think it was one of Chris’ Green Energy Myth episodes.


Ha ha - I hear you. Look - one has to admire the sheer audacity in how Chinese industrialisation has catapulted them onto the world stage. But I’m all for de-risking from China. The irony is Biden did what Trump promised to do - he actually brought manufacturing jobs home with IRA. It’s probably going to cost the west something like 5% GDP to actually de-risk - but when you’re talking national security - which is what domestic energy supply really is - you can’t be too careful. Just ask the Germans about paying Putin for Russian gas as he invaded Ukraine!

So the IEA and various other energy agency modellers think we’re FINE for minerals - and there are other ‘experts’ out there that disagree.

First establish who it is you’re quoting.
Then get back to me with a summary of WHY they disagree with the peer review.
Because there’s 2 big names in the ‘Not enough minerals’ camp that I’m aware of - and one of them is a paid up big oil shill and climate denier and peak oil denier.

The other is a peak oil doomer that HATES ev’s because they’re raining on his parade. He still wants to have an extreme agrarian manifesto for society - but his argument has so many cracks in it I could drive an electrified EV 240 ton mining truck through it!

LOL. Plenty of ore and plenty of child slaves to dig it out. That’s your EV future. Lovely, isn’t it?


Cobalt in EV’s and other ecological impacts of mining other minerals are real concerns bout the energy transition.

First - I’m not a fan of EV’s. I think the best EV is a tram or Metro. I’m into New Urbanism and Ecocities based on maybe 4 story eco-apartments and a walkable town square within 5 minutes of your front door. Less traffic, less stress, less loneliness, everyone living on 10% the land, and more community, more walking, more eyes-on everyone near the town square which also means more safety for women and children, and more walkability is more social justice for the poor.

In other words, while I want to be objective about the amount of minerals for the energy transition and EV’s - I really hate being dependent on a car - and really hate traffic jams - and really hate what suburbia has done to our sense of civil life and public engagement. Suburbia has no ‘there’ there for community to form - and that’s probably the most offensive thing about it for me.

Second - the big players are starting to share their awareness of these issues - but it is up to us activists to hold them to account. Even the IEA spreads awareness of these issues. See their paragraph on mining here.

Third - the EV market is moving away from expensive NMC to cheaper, safer LFP batteries that don’t use Cobalt. It’s about 30% of the EV market already. Indeed - BYD’s “Seagull” (aka Dolphin Mini in Australia) has a sodium battery that doesn’t even need lithium - let alone any other rare earths or critical minerals. Are we going to run out of sea-salt or agri-waste (for the hard carbon cathode) or aluminium which is 1200 times more abundant than copper?

Fourth - as we mine more metals for the energy transition, we’ll start to replace fossil fuels and mine vastly less material overall. Fossil fuels are at 14 billion tonnes per year. Even at the height of the energy transition we will not mine a fraction of that for metals. Unlike fossil fuels - all these minerals can be recycled!

International Energy Agency: Mineral requirements for clean energy transitions – The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions – Analysis - IEA

Data Scientist Hannah Ritchie: The world has enough minerals for low-carbon electricity

Indeed - once an EV battery reaches end of life and is munched up into “black mass” we are starting to see geopolitics emerge with this waste material valued as highly as oil. Nations are starting to realise that as their consumers buy cheap Chinese imports - those cars are a future supply of these rarer minerals. It’s been nicknamed “above ground mining” - and I think we will soon see EU laws preventing people sending EV waste back overseas!

Finally - you never answered my question. You’re diverting. Who actually said we do not have enough minerals - and why do they disagree with the peer-review? See - I think I know who you’re quoting and why they say what they say. But their paper is one of the biggest gish-gallops of smart-sounding but ultimately misleading data dumped on the unsuspecting and gullible who lap up this confirmation-bias paper - and rush to the conclusions to salivate over a peak-oil manifesto for society. Except - as my high school maths teacher used to say - “Show your working!” This guy’s assumptions are WAY off - in fact - sound down right ignorant of what the peer-reviewed ISP’s even claim. If he’s that ignorant of Integrated Systems Plans - why would we listen to him in the first place?

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@cmartenson covered this topic - on the “green energy” transition back in November 2023. I’ll link it below. Our current civilization, standard of living, and economy can’t be maintained and the transition to “green energy” is just a hoax. The math just doesn’t work. :point_down:

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My understanding (I believe I heard this from David Morgan) is that gold does very well in times of deflation as well as inflation (i.e. gold falls in price less than other key assets).

One of my favorite YouTubers is Joe Brown of Heresy Financial. Yesterday his video showed the price of Real Estate and the S&P 500 priced in gold (not dollars). Interesting take. I think the consensus view is that gold protects purchasing power over a long-term time horizon. Worth a watch:


Thanks for that - I have watched some of Joe’s presentations and they are consistently well constructed and comprehensive.

Hi IrishPrince,
it is as I feared.
You’ve been had.
I’ve already posted this link above - but if you’re going to trust Simon Michaux - you need to hear the other side of the debate.

A gold standard would be disastrous for the economy - and not really the most flexible way of handling any ‘degrowth’ areas of the economy we might need to fix or supplement on the way to something more sustainable. MMT takes care of all that.


No, that’s simply a means of printing without restraint that will end the fiat experiment as surely as any other method.

The best money is earned in exchange at the point of value creation. The worst is printed out of thin-air by politicians and career bureaucrats who then distribute it to friends and fads in varying proportions.

I am deeply dismissive of the MMT hypothesis because it is an abstract Ivory tower concept that doesn’t pass the basic human behavior smell test, let alone have any at-scale demonstrations.


I am deeply dismissive of the MMT hypothesis because it is an abstract Ivory tower concept that doesn’t pass the basic human behavior smell test, let alone have any at-scale demonstrations.

So the Australian experiment in subsidising our ‘economic pause’ during lockdown doesn’t count? Many MMTers quote Australian monetary activity during that time as a prime example of what they are talking about.

BTW - I’m not an economist - and agree with much of how you described modern political policies. But that’s mismanagement of the tools of economics. Just because we disagree with the way they are steering the ship doesn’t mean we set the deck on fire - or try to do away with the whole notion of ships!

I might be misunderstanding you - but I feel a bit concerned about the phrase “The best money is earned in exchange at the point of value creation” - as it sounds a bit micro-finance aka local agrarian. And that just isn’t going to happen - not to most modern nation states. But in some environmental and renewables sceptics circles it seems to be a form of neo-romanticism. But as an Eco-modernist (of the renewables variety - but open to nuclear as well if necessary) - I’m open to a variety of modern technologies and tools - as long as they are all optimised for maintaining biodiversity and the biosphere.

Everything I’ve read so far tells me we’re going to have more success feeding the human race if we shoot for the highest tech solutions like Precision Fermentation and even high-low tech like the massive seaweed farms of Sir David King.

Have you ever read the EcoModernist Manifesto? Even if you disagree - it’s worth 15 minutes of your time to know what is out there. It’s quite a movemenet.

Very interesting video from George Gammon today about being in Dubai and St. Barts with his well-heeled millionaire/billionaire friends. One of their key discussion points was Plan B decisions, and George referenced some being concerned and looking to relocate to energy self sustaining locales like Turkey or Russia.

Giving me those Atlas Shrugged/John Galt vibes again…

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Hi Irish, how you going with my link on Michaux? Please google around and let me know if I’ve stated anything factually incorrect. I link to the best peer-reviewed papers I can because this is not about me - but the technical papers.

I only have a Social Sciences background - but even I can smell absolute garbage about renewables after being in the peak oil movement for 20 years.

Anyway, there’s a fair few claims on my page - and a lot to read and research. It took me quite a few months before I was confident Michaux had manufactured the mother-of-all straw-man arguments. I’ll let you sit with it for a few days - but as I’ve done all the work linking to the core problems with Michaux’s absurd claims - you should be able to verify how bad his arguments are and get back to us. I’ll be interested in the results.

I skimmed the write-up. No offense, but it reads like a typical hit piece from NYT or Washington Post. Full of ad-homin attacks.

To wit:

He claims to care about climate change and the environment – but then goes on a climate denial channel like Sky News and gives them more arguments against renewables.

But his [1000 page PDF] and Youtube presentations are the biggest Gish-gallops I’ve ever seen. He drowns his audience in data so they cannot see the forest for the trees. There’s no time to slow down and investigate his prior assumptions before the data swarm hits you.

You are too emotionally invested in this subject to really rationally discuss. It’s part of your belief system and beliefs are very hard to change.


My target audience is mainly younger men more prone to giving too much credence to certain doomsday trains of thought in echo-chambers. There’s a lot to care about - and work on - and contemplating the future can be anxiety provoking. But what if we actually told them the truth about what is possible - whether or not some other crisis means we don’t make it?

I write the way I do because of the suicide I saw happen 19 years ago in a certain Sydney peak oil echo-chamber. The moderator of that group was too chicken to meet with the father - or even really chat with him much by email. I did.

So I write in a provocative way to get the attention of these young blokes - so they immediately know they have the intellectual permission to doubt Simon Michaux and question him in the first place! Some of these echo-chambers treat their special guest speakers like prophets in a cult.

But I have been contacted by a number of young men over the last year thanking me for bothering to assemble the evidence I have. So I write in an assertive manner with all the facts - including the fact that Michaux just loves to be interviewed on TV to a nice big audience of climate deniers who will hear Michaux, thump their fists down on their armchair, and shout “There - that Professor dude said it DEAR! I told you all those climate activists were trying to bankrupt us!”

I’m not saying we will make it. Trump could get re-elected. Some random technical accident could propel us into WW3 and full-scale nuclear war would hurtle us into a nuclear winter so dark only 1% of the northern hemisphere would survive.

Or we could continue to avoid that the way we have since the 1950’s - and go completely Solar Punk and Ecocity. There is hope. Not hopium - hope grounded in peer-reviewed science and engineering.

But what I am interested in is the truth - and if you want to claim the high ground regarding being objective and rational - have you bothered to even read Michaux’s paper? Why does he insist we need 4 weeks storage? What do other papers say Germany could do about their winter? Are they in an isolated national grid the way Michaux presents? Where do the majority of human beings actually live - and do they even experience winter?

Why did Michaux choose NMC batteries? What does his paper say about pumped hydro? Why did he rule it out? What was his source? Did he even quote a source in his paper to back his claim?

What does his paper say about sodium batteries? Why did he rule those out?

These are all perfectly rational questions - but if you just want to avoid discussing the facts and rely on ad-homin against myself - who is the one who is emotionally invested?

I’m sorry, did you mean Biden?


No - most definitely Trump. He’s the one that threatens to undo the IRA because it’s too environmental - yet the irony is it’s the single most important bit of American industrial policy in decades and doing the very thing Trump promised to do in his term - bringing American manufacturing jobs home again.

EG: The Inflation Reduction Act means SO many battery factories are being built now that by 2030 America will be able to build 18 MILLION EVs a year - which is well over the 14 million new cars Americans buy each year.

(Americans buy about 55 million cars a year but the rest are second hand.)

I must admit you confuse me :slight_smile:

You think MMT is great, you want more Biden, you think Michaux is bonkers.

What brought you to Peak Prosperity? What things has Chris been saying that you particularly liked or made you decide to join?