Saturday, December 31, 2005

Peak Oil and Extinction of the Global Economy

The age we live in is like no other before it. We command the planet with almost god-like powers. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, our ability to recover the resources of the world has become more and more efficient. This ability to recover and use the fossil fuels of our world has accelerated both the rate and the scope of industrial expansion. The burning of fossil fuels has been the enabling force that has literally fueled the world as we know it. Oil byproduct materials are an essential part of our culture and infrastructure.

For nearly 50 years now, our civilization has been awash in an ever increasing supply of oil. This seemly unending supply of petroleum, combined with corporate greed has shielded most of our civilization from the reality of finite oil supplies. A large number of the worlds most respected geologists have come to the conclusion that, all the large oil fields have already been discovered. This means that all the large deposits of oil are already in production. There is significant amount of research, which also points to the fact that, we may have already reached the peak of the bell curve for planetary oil production.

As worldwide oil production peaks and we slowly descend down the backside of the supply bell curve, oil prices will reach every increasing heights. As production descends to pre-1930s levels, there will be all kinds of economic and then social repercussions. One could only imagine just the economic disruption that will be associated with this upcoming scenario. Only by beginning now, to develop alternative and renewable energy resources, can we hope to have what has be called a “soft landing” during the upcoming end of the Age of Oil.

The growth the global economic system that seems to be engulfing even the most distant points of the world is fueled by cheap oil. As oil becomes more expensive and shortages begin to occur, the global transportation system will break down. Without an efficient global transportation and distribution system, the global economy will cease to exist.

So the question here is: With the massive shift of production resources, to places in the world that will, at some point, be “too far away”, what should be our strategy for the development of what will evidently have to be regional production and distribution systems?

2 Comments:

Blogger houstonguy92 said...

L.S. Great minds must think alike I posted a very similar post to yours on my blog "21st Century Notes". I found a very good summary article in the December 26th Fortune about a Texas Billionaire, Richard Raintree and his concerns regrading peak oil. I first came in contact with this idea last year when looking at a company that is working on hydrogen generation. Best wishes for a new year!

10:08 AM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

It is frightening to me that this is not being addressed as the most critical issue we face as a country. Our leaders are seemingly content to stick their heads in the sand and ignore the realities that are soon going to come crashing down on us. I expect Republicans to structure things in a way that will allow them and their cronies to extort the maximum amount of profit from oil before it is gone, but what about Democrats? There is no Party for the people anymore. We worker bees have no representation in government, leaving us with a future that looks pretty bleak from here.

2:32 PM  

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