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Reflections on the oil depletion controversy
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2264-7043
2003 (English)In: Minerals & Energy - Raw Materials Report, ISSN 1404-1049, E-ISSN 1651-2286, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 2-6Article in journal, Letter (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

This comment provides some reflections on the oil depletion controversy in the recent issue of Minerals & Energy. Scientific controversies are generally a good thing as they fuel fruitful deliberations within the scientific community, but in this particular case the controversy has been far from fruitful. This is partly due to a lack of interest among some of the participants to attempt to understand and even discuss the approach and the standpoints of the opponents, not the least among the Natural Scientists represented by Kjell Aleklett and Colin Campbell. Economic analysis, which clearly is under attack in the latter's article, can clearly not replace natural science but it is essential for understanding resource depletion. This comment provides a number of examples illustrating: (a) why this is the case; and (b) that Aleklett and Campbell often misinterpret the essence of economic analysis. Finally, the comment briefly addresses an important moral and ethical issue that was not touched upon in the above depletion controversy, namely that of discounting. It is concluded that given the importance of natural resource extraction in the world economy, research in the field has to find a bridge between the natural and social sciences and intergenerational problems have to be analyzed in more detail than has been the case so far. If this cannot be achieved resource depletion research will be of very little value for policy makers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 18, no 2, p. 2-6
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-6898DOI: 10.1080/14041040310017761Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-0242583184Local ID: 53b1a590-e1ab-11db-b0f8-000ea68e967bOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-6898DiVA, id: diva2:979784
Note
Godkänd; 2003; 20060929 (evan)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-07-10Bibliographically approved

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Söderholm, Patrik

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