Peak-oil, climate-change pamphleteer Joe Romm wants to make a bet:

A guy who has been wrong on oil prices longer than most has managed to convince the New York Times to give him some of their precious op-ed space to issue yet another sure-to-be-wrong prediction.  That would be energy consultant Michael Lynch, with his remarkably content-free piece, ” ‘Peak Oil’ Is a Waste of Energy,” asserting:

Oil remains abundant, and the price will likely come down closer to the historical level of $30 a barrel as new supplies come forward….

Here’s my bet to Lynch.  Let’s take the average price of oil from 2010 to 2015.  For every $1 a barrel it is below $40, I’ll pay you $200, if you pay me a mere $100 for every $1 a barrel it is above $40.

That should be a no-brainer since I am giving him 2-to-1 and spotting him $10 a barrel off of what he says the right price is.

Don’t these neo-Malthusians ever learn?

I first met “doom-slayer” Julian L. Simon at the University of Illinois in the spring of 1980—at just the time when the environmental doomsday industry had reached the height of its influence and everyone knew the earth was headed to hell in a hand basket. We could see the signs right before our very eyes. We had just lived through a decade of gasoline lines, Arab oil embargoes, severe food shortages in the Third World, nuclear accidents, and raging global inflation. Almost daily the media were reporting some new imminent eco-catastrophe: nuclear winter, ozone depletion, acid rain, species extinction, and the death of the forests and oceans.

The Club of Rome had just released its primal scream, Limits to Growth, which reported that the earth was rapidly running out of everything. The most famous declinist of the era, biologist Paul Ehrlich, had appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to fill Americans with fear of impending world famine and make gloomy prognostications, such as, “If I were a gambler, I would bet even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”

Somehow England made it.

The ultimate embarrassment for the Malthusians was when Paul Ehrlich bet Simon $1,000 in 1980 that five resources (of Ehrlich’s choosing) would be more expensive in 10 years. Ehrlich lost: 10 years later every one of the resources had declined in price by an average of 40 percent.

Even with oil presently above $70 a barrel, if I were a betting man I’d put my money on Michael Lynch.