Wednesday, January 11, 2006AlterNet posted three perspectives on the prospect of peak oil and its implications for modern society and the global economy. 2006:The Year of Oil Collapse? comes from James Howard Kuntsler (knutsler.com). The other two are from World Watch: Christopher Flavin writes that while we can't know exactly when oil production will start declining, we must focus on alternatives to petroleum now; and Robert K. Kaufman describes the role the market and government should play in helping to make the transition from a petroleum-dependent society.
Kaufman's observations begin with the following:
You will never wake to the headline, "World Runs Out of Oil."
Rather, global oil production will rise, reach one or more peaks, and decline. Well before production declines to very low levels, the peak will mark a point of no return that will be a watershed in the economic history of the 21st century. For the first time, industrial economies will be forced to a lower-quality energy source. And this decline will affect every aspect of modern life.