The Methodology of the Depletion Model
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The foregoing discussion has described the extremely unreliable nature of public data. There are, in addition, various confidential industry databases of varying cost, access, quality and credibility. With these constraints, it becomes impossible to forecast future production with any degree of scientific exactitude. This in turn has facilitated those with motives to ignore or distort the issue of depletion, leaving the man-in-the-street relatively uninformed of what awaits him. The Economist prefers not to recognise depletion as imposed by Nature because it tends to undermine the notion of market supremacy, the bedrock of his subject. It offends his near-doctrinaire faiththat supply must meet demand in an open market, and that one resource replaces another as the need arises with new technology breaking barriers. The Politician prefers not to face the issue because it would call for unpopular fundamental shifts of policy. In practice, his interest is not served by posing a problemunless he has a palatable solution. The Investor for his part does not want to know because it undermines the credibility of the assumptions upon which his portfolio was built. But at the end of the day, we all desperately need to know because our very future is at stake. Fortunately, there is now a new awakening despite the many vested interests bent on obfuscation. The recent financial and economic crisis affecting the world underlines the importance of coming to terms with reality.