The Oil Drum

Faithful reader and lonely commenter Ryan asks:
Would love your comment on the Oil Drum. I have an uncle who's obsessed with it whom I argue with all the time.

Most things I've seen on the site are alarmist, don't understand economic adjustment paths, and don't cite reputable people.
My headline answer is that it is a great aggregator of information, but doesn't add a lot of value as a filter and the quality of its commentary can vary widely. I recently re-added it to my RSS feed, although it's lower on my resources reading priority list (the WSJ's Environmental Capital is on top). Among the positives are nuggets of wit and the most comprehensive daily round-up of energy news I know of.

It's almost never concise.

It is very concerned with Peak Oil, often putting out alarmist scenarios and disdaining commenters who dare to dissent (a bit like Paul Krugman). In general its commenters are have pretty deep industry knowledge, so its current market intelligence is pretty good, but then you get future forecasts like this ("Linear extrapolations of historic EROI trends") which just make you roll your eyes:

So there is a fair amount of interesting content, but posters are fallible and sometimes have their own agendas so it should not be taken for the Gospel. I'm not saying that Peak Oil is necessarily wrong, but it's not a certainty either (except in the most tautological sense) and The Oil Drum, while it has its place in a portfolio of sources, is not the best place to find a balanced conversation.

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