Tuesday, November 28, 2006


People won't wake up to the problem until there is an 'Energy 9/11' (from remarks by Matt Simmons here).

Even then it won't help.

I'm in very gloomy mood re: Peak Oil etc at the moment. Probably just a way of distracting myself from work pressures. Ho Ho Ho.

I wrote this for a list the other day:

I haven't worked out a great level of detail, but roughly I'm persuaded:
1. we're at peak now;
2. the political impact of the peak will make things much worse, specifically i)
the 'export-land' problem - amount available to trade will contract much more
swiftly than the gross total, and ii) the Asian powers have taken steps to kick
the US where it is most vulnerable (see for example);
3. despite that, the West is much better placed to cope, ie much more room to
conserve and adapt (= sod global warming) - that won't stop the rolling
recessions/depressions though - but I think in the short to medium term the rule
of law will hold in the West (possibly fascist, esp the US, but still a
recognisable rule of law);
4. the impact on the developing world will cause the cascading systems of wars,
à la Rwanda, which will escalate and expand; what I'm not sure about is whether
the Muslim world will destroy itself (and Israel) or whether it will achieve
some form of unity. In other words will the main battleground BE the middle
east, leaving it like Germany in the 1600s (over a third of the population
killed by war, but probably worse, especially the secondary effects) - or will
the muslims unite around a radical caliphate and face the West with an
oil-driven jihad? (See this);
5. I think 10-15 years into the recessions there will be large segments of the
west that have shifted to alternative/renewable energy sources; I see one of the
core issues as being the capacity to defend those segments from all the forces
(within and without) that will fight for them. Here my speculation runs out of
steam, but I said to a church group recently that film acts as a mirror for our
unconscious knowledge, and that we should study the films of George A Romero for
an understanding of what will come. (Small bunch of rich people stuck behind a
wall while the hordes gather outside... and the walls won't keep them out

But all of this I see as 'ceteris paribus'. Even if there's only a fractional
chance of something being different, I think it's worth focussing on and trying
to bring about.

I've realised that this isn't a specific answer to your question(!) - sorry. So
a specific answer - maybe an oil supply of around 65mbd in 2015? Something like

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