This is the best case scenario

That is pretty sad for a supposedly intelligent species.

Oil limits are price limits. Indirectly because of these price limits, fuel consumption of all sorts (not just oil) will decline in the near future. The problem will be greater job loss and an inability to afford products of many kinds, including those made with fossil fuels. Financial collapse, particularly of governments, and a long-term decline in population are also part of this scenario.

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Oil Limits and Climate Change
They say that every cloud has a silver lining. If future energy consumption (which is mostly fossil fuel) drops because of a financial collapse brought on by high oil prices and other limits, then,…

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  1. Charles Rash
    Charles Rash says:

    Think harder…..people will starve to death, people will freeze to death….people will kill for what little garbage there is.  It doesn't have to happen.

  2. Edward Morbius
    Edward Morbius says:

    The view I'm coming 'round to adopt is:  why are we going to hell in a handbasket?  Because it's our job.

    Life exists to take advantage of free energy.  There happened to be a lot of petroleum and fossil fuels.  We stumbled across it.  We're going to run out by and by.  And then things will change.

    Not so great for the humans, natch.

    There's an outside chance at a soft-landing and continued civilization, but even the better scenarios are going to be pretty bumpy IMO.  It would be nice (if ironic) if the economic crash Gail predicts saves us from the worse aspects of AGW, though I suspect we're going to be dealing with a lot of that for up to a millennium as well.

  3. John Poteet
    John Poteet says:

    If people are starving or freezing it's because of political problems with distributing food and refitting housing. There are low-to-medium tech. methods of growing food and keeping houses warm with less fuel.

  4. Edward Morbius
    Edward Morbius says:

    +John Poteet That's now.

    Food production, processing, transportation, storage, and distribution all require massive amounts of fossil fuel energy.  It's easy to cover for a multiple sins with cheap energy.  What +Chris George, +Gail Tverberg, and others are talking about is a world in the not-to-distant future in which that energy is no longer cheap and abundant.

    Add in issues of climate change, drought (as has reduced food production by 30%+ in Russia and the US over the past two summers), topsoil loss, social breakdown, and likely emergence of widespread hunger, disease, and social unrest.  I don't know the timeline.  But it's pretty clear where we are now, and that that's not something we can count on in future:


    In another recent post, Gail pointed out that the real problems are the dual coin of total population and per-capita energy consumption.  It's highly unlikely the world can sustain 7 billion people, let alone the 9-10 which are presently forecast.  And looking at past performance, it's likely that the total is closer to 1 billion or fewer (roughly mid-19th century levels, at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution for much of the world).

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