Mad Max's vision of a shattered world where social order has broken down, and everyone fights over the last drops of oil, could be reality soon. Oil prices are starting to tick upwards again after coming down from summer 2008's heights. Imagine what would happen if oil reached double the price levels it hit a year or so ago, says the Guardian:
Imagine what would happen if prices rose, say, to $300 a barrel. Or higher. Not only would it become too expensive to drive unless absolutely necessary, but food would become prohibitively expensive to transport, goods from China would be too expensive to ship, and plastics, which come from oil, would be unaffordable. The cold turkey after more than a century of cheap oil would be painful indeed. For developing countries it would be fatal – many could not afford energy at those prices.
The Guardian quotes the International Energy Agency as stating the world needs to find an extra 64 million barrels of oil per day by 2030 — or around six times Saudi Arabia's production capacity — to meet demand. But nobody knows where that oil is going to come from. [Guardian]