30 June 2008

A frightening article about what peak oil means for our societies. Do our ministers realise where we are heading? So what have they done to prepare Singapore for peak oil? Let's see: Integrated Resorts, Singapore Grand Prix, investing in UBS, Citigroup and Merill Lynch, 2010 Youth Olympics, target population of 6.5 million....er...huh, go figure...

By Nicolas van der Leek (Nick)


...Say goodbye also to the services that rely on airlines, such as courier companies. This means FedEx and UPS, Say goodbye, too, to the likes of Amazon.com.

Giant scale operations -- from air travel, to farming, to industry (think General Motors) -- will scale down drastically.

This represents an implosion in world tourism, which means world spectacles like the FIFA World Cup and the 2012 Olympics are going to be beyond reach for 90 percent of consumers. This also has an impact on all those services that survive on international tourism -- entire hotel chains, car hire companies, restaurants and the like...

...We will see a stock market crash based around the realization (in markets) that not only is economic growth no longer logical, but depleting energy means breakdowns in all the financial architecture that was designed on top of it -- from property markets, to banks, to entire industries, including (of course) the auto and food industries. Obviously, when entire banks fail, so will capitalism and what remains of the financial apparatus.

Money will have little or no value in the future, and commerce will be done via barter, and probably in a disorderly manner. Agriculture will become a big industry, along with other forms of resource management (mining, forestry, etc.).


It goes without saying really that all these transitions are likely to be associated with unpleasant levels of public disorder. It is likely that around the world authorities will struggle to maintain law and order. Governments will have a hard time staying relevant and of use to suddenly impoverished mobs. These struggles will place additional strain on those Cheap Oil Relics that survive, for example municipal services and roads. Who will maintain these in a world that can no longer afford very much?