I think the general consensus amongst the experts is that the current economic downturn was caused by a variety of financial malpractices, and also
the first real wave of cheap peak oil.
The rising demand caused an already over stressed economy to reach it's breaking point, and the whole system started to crumble. Well, it was saved
from complete collapse, and the result of keeping things going is that we entered a recession (now depression).
This caused demand for fuel to drop, supply to rise, and prices to decline. The economy has ever so slightly improved, and so eventually prices will
go up again.
This is the cycle:
Energy Supply-Demand Imbalance
Energy Supply Demand balance
It would seem, without any other variables to change the equation, this cycle would repeat as cheap oil becomes increasingly difficult to extract at
the unfolding rate of demand. I do think there is at least one serious alternative that will save civilization as we know it.
The U.S. government has spent millions on grants to research a mass producible biofuel from algaeoil for decades. The research was halted a long time
ago, because then current technology couldn't get the rate of efficiency for biofuel extraction from algae to produce a viable alternative for then
current crude oil prices. Well, our technology has gotten a lot better, and the price of a barrel for oil has increased significantly.
Anticipating peak oil, the U.S. government and many other organizations/corporations all around the world have started to revamp research and even
start up large processing centers. I think that this technology may be capable of being ramped up within just a few years from deciding on the best
method of processing. I'm sure further tweaks will be done over the years, but am somewhat confident that before this decade is up, we'll be seeing a
good chunk of our energy coming from the green goop.
Remember, it's not that we're running out of oil yet, it's that the rate of extraction doesn't adequately meet the demand, so if we can do some things
to offset the imbalance, we can make it through. A simple global car-pooling initiative, say .. a website for each nation, that included every region
and general area, where you could find other people traveling to and from your destination, job workplace, etc... simple things could be done to
reduce the consumption. Some people ride in a vehicle when it's entirely unnecessary. I ride my bike all the time, and actually haven't even had a car
for over a year without any problems.
So, even taking 10-20% of our fuel consumption from gasoline and turning it towards algae oil within the next 7-12 years may go a long way to keeping
our global economies from facing constant recession, when considering the other simple plans that could be implemented. I think that if algaeoil
biofuel does prove to be as viable as many are hoping for, then it will be our main fuel source by 2030.
Let's not give up on civilization and the ability for humanity to innovate when pressed.
"Necessity, who is the mother of invention" --Plato
edit on 18-10-2010 by unityemissions because: (no reason given)