Oil reached an all-time high today, at $122 per barrel, which is twice what it was one year ago.
A friend of mine introduced me to the unhappy world of Peak Oil and the suppositions that, soon, without oil, civilization will falter and fail. It’s a very unpretty picture that folks are painting but it’s not without its supporters (in government primarily) and those who believe it but can’t speak its name.
Anyway, if you’re at all curious, the one site that’s super gloomy but powerful is DieOff. I’m going to tread slowly on this territory but it’s interesting, to me, in particular because the signs of the related Olduvai theory are apparent. The bubble of reality that we all live in seems never so thin.
Postcript: I’m particularly curious about White’s Law, which Wikipedia argues:
For White “the primary function of culture” and the one that determines its level of advancement is its ability to “harness and control energy.” White’s law states that the measure by which to judge the relative degree of evolvedness of culture was the amount of energy it could capture (energy consumption). White differentiates between five stages of human development. In the first, people use energy of their own muscles. In the second, they use energy of domesticated animals. In the third, they use the energy of plants (so White refers to agricultural revolution here). In the fourth, they learn to use the energy of natural resources: coal, oil, gas. In the fifth, they harness the nuclear energy.