Some scientists are now calling for a serious attempt to measure the known coal and oil reserves. There is evidence that we've already passed peak oil, nearly one half of all oil explorationcompanies apparently agree with that conclusion. Meanwhile, coal mining is also facing a cliff and falling production.
There are politics--surprise, surprise--involved in most current coal and oil reserve estimates. Thus they're not based on fact but on supposition and political position, say the scientists. Worse yet, techniques for calculating reserves are thirty years old. Remember how all those brillaint investment bankers were making huge assest growth for years, until they didn't? Sure, they lied to the world. Well, sadly, the same thing has been going on with fossil fuels. And without reliable data we don't really know how bad off we're going to be...or when. And how quickly oil and coal prices could rise in coming decades if supplies do run short.
Further, the lack of true data on fuel supply means that many long-term global warming projections have serious flaws because they are based on assumptions that there'llbe plenty of energy even if most of it is just more of the same. What if some countries have to turn to burning wood instread of coal, dam rivers rather than burn coal or fuel oil?