Misery essay of the day:
- I view a global oil production peak within the decade as a near-certainty.
- I think there is a small probability that the peak has already occurred, but we won’t know that until several years after the fact.
- I don’t believe that there is anything in the technology pipeline that can prevent a growing gap between supply and today’s demand.
- I believe that gap will be closed by price-induced rationing, which will be very hard on businesses and individuals.
We simply don’t have the money to use the oil that we have historically used. This will be a period of great economic difficulty, lasting for years.
At the same time that the economy is in great difficulty, oil companies will continue to reap big profits, causing an enormous amount of resentment and calls for higher taxation and greater regulation of the oil industry.
I simply do not believe it will ever be possible to replace major shortfalls in oil production with renewables. It may be possible to replace 20% of today’s oil production, but beyond that there will be increasing competition with arable land for food production — and pressure to turn forested land into arable land.
However, I also believe that humans are very resilient, and that we will eventually come through this.