Image Credit CCA, Sorry Out of Gas
Henry Blodgett at Business Insider points to an interview with Energy Analyst Charles Maxwell of Weeden & Co., who makes Jeff Rubin look like an optimist.
Maxwell believes that we are well past Peak Oil, and that the stuff is going to get a lot more expensive soon.
Maxwell notes that we will never run completely out of oil, it will just cost a lot more to get it out. He doesn't see much promise in alternative energy sources either, but does note that we do have a solution:
Ludwig: So what's the sixth side of that six-sided box you described earlier?
Maxwell: The sixth is the wonderful one, the "killer app," because it solves the problem: It's energy efficiency and conservation. That's where the big changes will occur. We will use less electricity in our appliances; we will find ways of running electricity around the country through superconductor wires that don't waste so much energy; we will use cars that get 100 miles per gallon. Overall, we'll find ways to make the energy we already have go an awful lot longer for us.
Maxwell points out the implications for our food distribution system:
Ludwig: Do you have any near-term anxiety as people find out they're out in the cold without their pants on?
Maxwell: Yes. And what we have to keep in mind is that oil is particularly useful in the transportation sector--starting with airplanes and boats and going on to trucks and trains and cars. About 97 percent of transportation depends on oil. So when we talk about oil production slowing down and reversing, you're talking about a huge cost to the transportation sector. For instance, right now we don't worry about winter when we go to the supermarket--you get a head of cabbage or lettuce, but it will say: "Grown in California."
Maxwell: Yes. These items are brought to us on boats and planes and trucks, and a lot of that will become too expensive to do.
So, we'll have to grow an awful lot of food locally, and perhaps even change our diet a bit to use more root vegetables that can be stored, as opposed to eating so many things that are perishable. That's just one example of how peak oil will change our way of life.
Read the whole interview at Index Universe
More on Peak Oil: