Jeff Rubin, economist and author (Why your world is about to get a whole lot smaller) notes that oil isn't the only hydrocarbon with a price going through the roof.
Rubin notes that even in China, they are approaching a national production peak.
Check out thermal coal prices to see how dependent economic growth has become on burning increasingly amounts of fossil fuels. Prices of Newcastle coal, the Asian coal price benchmark, are poised by rise by as much as 30% this year, approaching the peak levels seen in 2008. It is no surprise the countries driving global coal demand through the roof are the same countries pushing global crude demand. Find the fastest growing economies, and you will find where demand for oil and coal are the strongest.
At the current extraction rate, China could hit that production peak as early as 2015. Once there, most estimates show a sharp drop off in the country's coal production beginning around 2020. This is why Beijing is considering capping domestic coal production, fearing the country is depleting its remaining coal reserves far too quickly to sustain future economic growth.
More at Jeff Rubin's Smaller World
More on Peak Coal:
Peak Coal Comes To Appalachia
There's A Lot Less Coal Out There Than We Think - But That's Not Civilization's End