Why Things Are Probably Going to Suck Soon

Two words: Peak Oil. What do Dick Cheney, Michael Moore, George W. Bush, the vice-president of the Iranian National Oil Company, energy investment banker Matthew Simmons, one of George W. Bush’s energy advisors, and many others agree about?

We’re past Peak Oil. Starting in the next few years oil prices will skyrocket and a lot of things which depend on cheap oil (like the U.S. economy) are going to break irrevocably.

With regards to oil, we’re a lot like a lottery winner who didn’t invest a dime, and is just burning through his cash, buying more and more, and then it starts to get scarce, and he just tries not to think about it… Until it all falls down. If he’d invested in something outside of his lottery stash, he could have been set up for life, but it was easier to just spend the ready cash. (I speak as someone who would unfortunately probably behave this way if he won the lottery.)

What if the fall of civilization that the older ones among us expected to happen because of nuclear war happened anyway cause we didn’t plan for what happened when the oil was gone?

I’ll tell you, I’d sure suck at eking out a living in a desperately impoverished post-industrial Dark Age.

5 thoughts on “Why Things Are Probably Going to Suck Soon”

  1. It’s not as bad as you might think. It would be very different, and you’d learn to be a hunter-gatherer/farmer instead of a computer geek, but would that really be so bad?

  2. Note: that wasn’t a comment on whether or not the oil situation is bad or not, but rather whether or not it would be bad for our world to get back to more basics.

  3. It’d be fine, I just think I’d totally suck at it. :) If I didn’t I’d be happy.

    I think there would definitely be some advantages to the downfall of civilization “as we know it”…

  4. I’ve been thinking about this for about an hour now, and had some ideas. Sovereignty Of God aside, I think there’s a certain amount of self-healing in society. It’s the sort of thing Asimov occasionally attributed to aliens. :)

    In the 1970’s, people THOUGHT we were running out of oil, and things changed. Cars got smaller and more efficient, houses started getting weatherized, etc. I think things stopped changing when people began to believe that the oil would last forever again.

    Once people really truly believe a crisis is here again, what will happen? I almost think it could spawn another industrial revolution, making hydrogen cars, wind power could come into its own, huge advancements in solar panels, etc.

    Then again, we could end up emulating a bad 1970’s post-apocolyptic movie. :)

  5. But all of those advancements require energy, and unless people are willing to admit the problem right now, we may not have the energy resources available to develop new technology when the crisis finally does hit. I fear we’ve also been lulled into a false sense of security because of the promise of hydrogen power. Hydrogen is only useful as an energy source if it’s found as H2. Hydrogen in water won’t work–it takes energy to convert it to H2 (if everything were 100% efficient, it would be the same amount of energy that we get back out of it by burning it). Where does this energy come from? Fossil fuels.

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