Thursday, November 14, 2013

Weird Question #837

Hey! Probably closer to number 897,463, but I don't have that many fingers.

Although I'll give my opinion I'd like some discussion.

We know that the crude oil/natural gas resources of the world are finite, and according to some sources we've nearly reached the "hockey-stick" or "j-curve" point where oil usage for the world is out of control. We're quickly approaching the PONR (Point of No Return) at which consumption outstrips production beyond the capacity of various regulatory agencies to hide the fact. Yes, at that point prices will skyrocket, but gone is gone.

At some point in the future, gas and oil will be gone regardless of how much we try to hide the fact. Increased efficiency and new sources will only take us so far. Oil companies and utility companies have no reason to look into alternatives and in many cases are actively antagonistic, as evidenced by the increasing number of lawsuits by big oil and utility companies against other companies selling solar or wind alternatives. They have a monopoly, they don't want the competition.

So taking into consideration the fact that resources are finite, that there is little research being done in viable alternatives, and that embedded interests (scientific, economic and governmental) are doing their best to keep our heads in the sand, what do you think will happen when the oil does run out? This is under the assumption that viable alternatives are not found in the meantime.

My opinion:

Governments will try to hide the fact as long as possible so as to avoid a panic
Permanent rationing will go into effect but it will be blamed on terrorists or economic factors rather than scarcity
Resources will be reallocated so that governments can continue to run, further increasing the strain on citizens credulity
"Insurrections" will be put down with increasing force and brutality as people try to protect themselves from the growing chaos
As resources are reallocated, food distribution will start to break down, resulting in chaos and panic
People will run to the countryside, expecting to find food. Rumors about "hoarders" and "stockpiles" will cause further panic
The countryside is stripped bare by people looking for food
Mass starvation and disease
Armed camps spring up to protect the remaining resources
Governments confiscate what they can, destroy what they can't in an effort to maintain their power

So what's your opinion? Local, national or international consequences of one resource disappearing.

Next: Consequences of a new technology

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