I’m surprised I didn’t find any threads about our world’s energy crisis because, if not already, it is the becoming the single most important issue in our generation.
Basically, we have built and designed our world around cheap petroleum and without it, we are totally, utterly fucked. There’s actually plenty of oil left, about half remaining the experts say, but the problem is that it’s much, much more costly to extract and refine. And the higher the cost of oil, the more it slows our economy until it will inevitably collapse.
Alternative energy sources cannot save us either. You can read all about hydrogen, biofuels/ethanol, solar, whatever and you’ll learn they cannot do the job we need them to.
We’ve seen the record gas prices for all of 2008 but in the media I haven’t heard the simple question why: Why are gas prices getting higher+higher. Until tonight. CNN ran a special called Out of Gas: We Were Told or something like that. I couldn’t give it my full attention but what I did see jumped from the obvious that oil consumption is rising, to some ill-conceived anecdotes about minor future events, But at least it got the jist. Perhaps reality may be too harsh and people don’t want to hear how we have to abandon suburbia. Baby steps.
In this world of fiat currencies, price for mandatory goods like petrol is completely irrelevant. I can recall an alarmist article from years ago that predicted doom if oil would ever reach $70. The price is already nearing twice that amount (granted, part of this is because of dollar inflation). Yet still no world collapse.
I agree that without petrol there will be a totally, utterly fucked world state but the petrol cost in money is irrelevant.
My guess is: invest in urban real estate. Out of all those people who moved out to the burbs to get more house for their money, some of them will internalize the new, seemingly permanent higher cost of fuel and will move back closer to the city. (At least that’s what I’d do if I’d stuck myself in the middle of nowhere for the sake of a big back yard.)
We aren’t running out of oil anytime soon. We are running out of easy to get oil… maybe. We likely many generations of oil and once that is gone, we have many alternative fuel sources. Between 10,000 and 100,000, we will run out of fuel resources on earth. Assuming consuming these resources doesn’t mess up the planet before we run out of them, which is more likely and a greater issue. It doesn’t matter if we have 100 years or a million years of resources if we make the planet unable to support the 10 billion plus humans we will put on it shortly.
They built a house of straw. The thundering machines sputtered and stopped. Their leaders talked and talked and talked. But nothing could stem the avalanche. Their world crumbled. The cities exploded. A whirlwind of looting, a firestorm of fear. Men began to feed on men.
On the roads it was a white line nightmare. Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice. And in this maelstrom of decay, ordinary men were battered and smashed. Men like Max. The warrior Max. In the roar of an engine, he lost everything. And became a shell of a man, a burnt out, desolate man, a man haunted by the demons of his past, a man who wandered out into the wasteland. And it was here, in this blighted place, that he learned to live again…
Right it’s not about money, it’s about supply+demand. The increased cost signifies less supply, so the prices will go up+up until demand decreases.
A sudden increase in oil prices would be devastating. OPEC knows that and all it’s competitors know that. In even their own best interest(and also of course the competition between OPEC and all the other oil producers), they have to slowly raise the prices.