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Home Oil – The Coming Supply Crunch (Part I)

Oil – The Coming Supply Crunch (Part I)

user profile picture Chris Martenson Apr 05, 2009
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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Executive Summary

  • The relationship between oil and global GDP is explored
  • The “undulating plateau”: How Peak Oil and the economy interact
  • The G20 plan: Why the stimulus plans cannot possibly return the world to growth
  • Oil demand
  • Oil supply (production)
  • Why volatility in energy prices is virtually assured
  • Shortages and a spectacular rise in the price of oil predicted

The world’s energy system is at a crossroads. Current global trends in energy supply and consumption are patently unsustainable – environmentally, economically, socially. But that can – and must – be altered; there’s still time to change the road we’re on. It is not an exaggeration to claim that the future of human prosperity depends on how successfully we tackle the two central energy challenges facing us today: securing the supply of reliable and affordable energy; and effecting a rapid transformation to a low-carbon, efficient and environmentally benign system of energy supply. What is needed is nothing short of an energy revolution.

IEA World Energy Outlook for 2008

This is one of the most important Martenson Reports I will write this year. In this report, I explain why the global stimulus plan will not succeed at returning the global economy to a path of sustainable growth or even to its former heights, seen in 2006/2007.

If you recall from the Crash Course, nothing is more important to the continuation of our current way of life than our ability to extract and deploy ever-larger amounts of energy. Our entire economic system is predicated upon the implicit assumption that the future will not only be bigger than the past, it will be exponentially bigger. This is a feature of our debt-based monetary system, where principal balances grow each year, leaving interest payments to provide the “exponential kicker.”

Since World War II, all nations have had to expand their use of oil to achieve economic growth. This point should be intuitively obvious, as oil is by far the dominant source of energy that we use to grow, produce, and move things around.

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