End of Oil Could Fuel 'End of Civilization as We Know It'

United States has temporarily avoided the consequences of its own oil depletion by importing more than half of the oil it consumes.

Published: 15-Dec-2004

SAN FRANCISCO -- Opponents in a long-running debate over when the world will run out of oil squared off Tuesday in a crowded room of scientists, reaching only one conclusion: The supply of fossil fuels is fixed and the world economy will eventually have to wean itself from oil.

The most dire and perhaps speculative forecast calls for global oil production to peak next year -- specifically on Thanksgiving.

Others say the end can't be accurately predicted, but that it is likely decades rather then centuries away, and that the consequences will be grave: huge inflation, global resource wars -- China vs. the United States was emphasized as a possibility -- and the end of civilization as we know it.

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