Life Beyond Oil Age Uncertain

This final installment in its series on the issue of peak oil, The California Aggie discusses what the future may hold for a world in which oil has become drastically more expensive and rare.

Published: 08-Jun-2005

p;A lot can change in a decade. Ten years ago, the idea of peak oil was almost unimaginable. Life was good for Americans, who enjoyed a growing economy and gasoline at just over one dollar per gallon.

   But gas prices have more than doubled since then, bringing the theory of peak oil into the mainstream. If the theory is true, production of the world’s oil supply will soon reach its limit and then steadily decline, leading to rising gas prices and weakening economies worldwide.

   Gas depends on oil, which cost around $28 per barrel in June 2003, but has nearly doubled to $54 just two years later. This number is especially worrisome to Americans, who use 25 percent of the world’s daily supply of oil despite making up less than 5 percent of the global population.

   People are already starting to panic. Last month, two Sacramento brothers were arrested after being caught siphoning gas from various vehicles. The reason, one of them told police, was that they simply could not afford gasoline anymore.


Visits to China, India, Malaysia and Pakistan are significant because the trip spells out the Saudi Kingdom's Look East policy, representing a new reorientation in its foreign policy that was heavily tilted toward the West.

The worst two scenarios suggest a drastic decline in output to 875,000 barrels a day by the end of 2007 and to just 520,000 a day by the end of 2008.

Bush said he envisioned a future in which a plug-in hybrid car could drive 40 miles on a lithium-ion battery, then stop at a filling station for ethanol, a fuel usually made from corn, similar to HyMotion Prius pictured below.


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