Ready for Fuel Rationing?

Hubbert CurveHave you fixed your bicycle yet? The end is near! The end of cheap gas, that is. More and more people are acknowledging that peak oil is indeed upon us, possibly in the next few years. That means that just as fossil fuel consumption is skyrocketing, we may be hitting the top of the Hubbert Curve (see picture on the right) for worldwide crude oil production. You think gas is expensive now? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! And no wars or oil wells in wildlife refuges can change that.

The Financial Times reports that the International Energy Agency is planning to publish a report soon that calls for worldwide fuel emergency plans:

In a draft of the report circulated to governments and seen by Expansi√ɬ≥n, the Financial Times’ Spanish partner, it suggests dramatic measures, such as reducing motorway speed limits by 25 per cent, shortening the working week, imposing driving bans on certain days, providing free public transport and promoting car pooling schemes.

Alternet has just published a good overview of the peak oil debate:

[I]f peak-oil analysts like Campbell and Deffeyes have correctly predicted a peak before 2010, we’re in serious trouble already. Even with bold, immediate moves to wean ourselves from oil, “significant economic hardship” is probably the very best we can hope for.

Robert L. Hirsch, of Science Applications International Corporation, published an exhaustive report for the U.S. Dept. of Energy:

The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase dramatically, and, without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented. Viable mitigation options exist on both the supply and demand sides, but to have substantial impact, they must be initiated more than a decade in advance of peaking.

And, by the way, the price of oil is up to $58/barrel ….

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