Last Update: July 25, 2015
Overwhelmingly the transportation system runs on fossil oil that’s refined into gasoline, diesel or kerosene. The fossil oil resources of this planet have enabled our society to invent a wonderful new lifestyle. Rapid world-wide travel has shrunk the effective distance between nations. It has given us an unrivaled opportunity to see how other cultures live and operate. It has reduced menial labor and enabled the building of huge cities.
But… The observation over and over is that oil fields reach a point where production can no longer be increased. Once a field reaches its peak production point, it enters a declining of production. Sum up the production curves of all fields around the planet and it indicates a point in time where the global oil production will peak. That point of time is expected to arrive soon, if it has not already occurred.
There is a simplistic observation from economics we can make. The demand for oil has increased continuously since it was first commercialized. That is, except for a few years in 1978-1982, due to the effects of the Arab Oil Embargo those years. It’s fair to assume the demand for oil will continue to increase, caveat various external influences. But if oil production cannot keep up with demand, economics dictates that the price will go up (the law of supply and demand).
Remember the oil price increases that lead to the oil price bubble in 2008? That’s only just the beginning.
It’s not just the peak of oil production, but the peak of producing almost everything. Our society has followed the same pattern with every raw material. It mines the raw material, makes it into a product, which we use, and then throw away. There is little attempt or thought to reuse anything.
This pattern is wholly unlike nature. The biological life systems on this planet practice recycling and have hundreds of millions of years of existence to prove the value of recycling.