The Age of Wisdom?
By David Levy | theenergycollective.com
This week’s global release of the climate change docudrama The Age of Stupid has Pete Postlethwaite, apparently still alive and well in 2055, playing the custodian of an immense Noah’s ark of Earth’s cultural artifacts as climate change ravages the earth. Apocalyptic visions of a future beset by high cost oil and climate change are not new, of course. M. King Hubbert predicted in 1956 that oil production would peak in the United States between 1965 and 1970, and Colin Campbell has brought mainstream credibility to the concept of peak oil through papers and 2004 book The Coming Oil Crisis. James Howard Kunstler’s 2005 “The Long Emergency” provides a compellingly gruesome account of the collapse of civilization.
Just last week I heard Christopher Steiner, author of $20 per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rising Cost of Gas Will Change Our Lives for the Better, interviewed on WBUR, my local NPR station. Steiner, a writer for Forbes magazine, trained as a civil engineer at the University of Illinois, before graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. His book is premised on the “peak oil” hypothesis, that global oil production will soon start to decline as existing fields deplete and new discoveries fail to keep up. Combined with exploding demand in China, India, Brazil, and other parts of the developing world, fuel prices could rocket towards $20 a gallon for gasoline. His book examines what the world would look like at various price points along the way. Though highly speculative, it’s an interesting thought experiment and a challenge for long-term corporate strategic planning.“
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