Will peak oil trigger Mad Max society?

According to a study by the Energy Watch Group (EWG), all of you Mad Max fans out there might get the chance to live the movie if oil production continues to decline. The oil industry believes Earth's oil reserves can last about another 42 years at current pumping rates. Energy Watch, basing its conclusions on actual rates of production, says that oil production has declined since 2006 and will continue to do so -- by 2030, oil production could be half of what it is today.

The situation we're headed for -- and that some predict as soon as next year -- is called "peak oil." That means that although plenty of oil is still being pumped and sold, there isn't enough of it to go around. And that means the possibility of "widespread blackouts, the virtual collapse of transportation infrastructure in industrialized countries and a shortage of petroleum-based chemical fertilizers necessary to grow most of our food." And that means war, famine, pestilence, and hunger. A situation that is otherwise known as "deep doo-doo."

Of course, the caveat to all of this is that no really knows how this is going to play out. Long-range predictions have a way of being false as often as they're true (paperless office anyone?). We aren't suggesting that EWG is wrong, and we aren't saying that we don't need to be a lot smarter about our resources... but a lot is going to change between now and 2030. Who knows -- if a $30,000 Volt arrives in 2010, we could get another hundred years out of our oil supplies. Nevertheless, in case a Road Warrior future is in store, you might want to start practicing your lines now. Say it with us: You can run, but you can't hide!

[Source: Green Daily]

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