In a message dated 9/24/2000 6:03:11 PM, email@example.com writes:
<< Anyway, now that the demand for oil is starting to exceed the supply, we
won't have the luxury much longer on choosing how we are going to get to
work. Maybe these things will sort themselves out. For example, I'm
contemplating replacing one of our cars and the trend in the cost of
gasoline is going to play a factor. If my company were to transfer me to a
city and I were to accept that transfer, the trend in the cost of gasoline
would play a role in our decision where to live relative to my place of
work. I would like to be able to choose between a safe place in the suburbs
and an equally safe place in the inner city, and that choice is not always
The problems of getting to work that you and Glenn are discussing are only
one of the problems that the world's societies will have to face when we run
out of oil, and if no fusion or other substantial sources of non-carbon-based
energy have been developed.
The overall problem, as I see it, is how shall the declining stocks of oil be
allocated among competing needs in the world's societies, and who shall make
the decisions. Will the free market be the decision maker, or will some
central world bureaucracy decide who gets the oil? Or will OPEC? Assuming
that some equitable and acceptable decision maker can be arranged, which is a
huge assumption, who will get the oil?
Will farmers have first priority to run their tractors and other equipment to
produce food? Will the trucking industry have high priority for transporting
food to market? How much will mass transportation get? Will the
petrochemical industry get a large part with which to make plastics? Will
the military still claim its share? Will we still fly inefficient airplanes?
Will poor people be able to heat their homes? Will our central city
skyscrapers be heated? Will scientific and academic institutions be
supplied? Will the rich Western industrial nations demand more than their
share? Each of us can extend this list of competitors for the declining
supply of carbon-based energy.
These are horrendous problems for future generations to solve. I hope I am
overstating them. But I don't think so.
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