[Marxism] Re: Economists Seek to Fix a Defect in Data That Overstates the Nation’s Vigor (NYT)

Marv Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Tue Nov 10 06:02:29 MST 2009

Matt Russo posted:


 A widening gap between data and reality is distorting the government’s
picture of the country’s economic health, overstating growth and
productivity in ways that could affect the political debate on issues like
trade, wages and job creation.
Maybe also oil...

Key oil figures were distorted by US pressure, says whistleblower
By Terry Macalister
Monday 9 November 2009

The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates
admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who
claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of
triggering panic buying.

The senior official claims the US has played an influential role in
encouraging the watchdog to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil
fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves.

The allegations raise serious questions about the accuracy of the
organisation's latest World Energy Outlook on oil demand and supply to be
published tomorrow – which is used by the British and many other governments
to help guide their wider energy and climate change policies.

In particular they question the prediction in the last World Economic
Outlook, believed to be repeated again this year, that oil production can be
raised from its current level of 83m barrels a day to 105m barrels. External
critics have frequently argued that this cannot be substantiated by firm
evidence and say the world has already passed its peak in oil production.

Now the "peak oil" theory is gaining support at the heart of the global
energy establishment. "The IEA in 2005 was predicting oil supplies could
rise as high as 120m barrels a day by 2030 although it was forced to reduce
this gradually to 116m and then 105m last year," said the IEA source, who
was unwilling to be identified for fear of reprisals inside the industry.
"The 120m figure always was nonsense but even today's number is much higher
than can be justified and the IEA knows this.

"Many inside the organisation believe that maintaining oil supplies at even
90m to 95m barrels a day would be impossible but there are fears that panic
could spread on the financial markets if the figures were brought down


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