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Future Chaos: There Is No "Plan B"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 10:27 PM
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Executive Summary

  • Perception will drive the market shift.
  • Awareness of Peak Oil is still low but spreading rapidly.
  • The military is mobilizing, but civilian government is AWOL.
  • The Post-Peak transition will be more chaotic than it need be.
  • We have time to prepare (but not much).
  • Taking informed action now is critical.

Part I

If you have not yet read Part I of this report, please click here to read it first.

Part II

It's All About Perception

On my plane ride back from DC, I happened to sit next to an insurance professional who was chatty.  After hearing about his washed-out business trip to the Cayman Islands, I told him about my work and the ASPO conference I'd just been to.  He'd never heard of Peak Oil before.

When I encounter someone who has not heard of Peak Oil, I experience the same sense of disorientation as if they said they had never heard of 9-11.  The only difference between the two is that Peak Oil might have much larger and even more devastating effects.

The good news is that this reminds me that we are further away from the tipping point of awareness than I sometimes think, (hopefully) providing us with an extra year or two or preparation time.  The bad news is that when the tipping point arrives, it will do so all at once, and probably with more disruption than if people had been allowed to more slowly internalize the implications and reality of vastly higher oil prices.

As we explored in the previous report, it's not the fundamentals that will finally lead to the shift, it's perception.  Right now, on a fundamental basis, there is every indication that a liquid fuel crisis is imminent.  Perhaps the data is wrong and will be corrected, or perhaps a massive discovery will change the game, but right now our best information is that depletion and demand are going to swamp supply in the near future.

 

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