Lots of readers seem to be very perturbed about the end of oil. I’m not, particularly. In fact, it would help us deal with environment degradation, which is the real big threat we face.
I’m not blind to how society is driven by oil, from transport to agriculture to the manufacturing of plastics and other artificial products. I just think, so what? The Stone Age didn’t end when we ran out of stones. The end of oil will mean the end of the oil age, not of human civilisation.
Solar power, off-shore tidal power, nuclear, geothermal heating, better insulation: they all may have a role to play, or perhaps we’ll invent something new. A lot of alternative technologies look expensive compared to stuff lying about under the ground, but they’re linearly more expensive, not exponentially more expensive. It’s a solvable problem.
Here’s a smarter man than me, Richard Sears, on future energy:
Darn, I just realized he concludes with my ‘end of stones’ quip. I guess we both read the same witty economists!
Many private investors have invested in oil to a disproportionate degree, convinced that in a peak oil future they’ll be the richest folk in town.
Well, I doubt it – the little exploration companies may well get mopped up by the giants at a good profit, and the giants may diversify into other energy sources, but I don’t think it’s a case of one sector to rule them all.
Also, have they seen Mad Max? Be careful what you wish for!
Do you have a view on the end of oil? Let us know below.