Re: RE: What happens when the oil runs out.

Date: Mon Sep 25 2000 - 06:11:27 EDT

  • Next message: Vandergraaf, Chuck: "RE: RE: What happens when the oil runs out."

    In a message dated 9/24/2000 6:03:11 PM, 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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