Is $8 Per Gallon on the Way?
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Atrios makes the point: "$4 gas is annoying. $8 gas, if it happens, will be... different."
The Wall Street Journal has a piece out on the International Energy Agency substantially dropping its forecasts of global oil reserves. Joe Romm, an energy expert at the Center for American Progress, points to this study by the Bush Department of Energy on peak oil, in 2005, which says the following.
The world has never faced a problem like this. Without massive mitigation more than a decade before the fact, the problem will be pervasive and will not be temporary. Previous energy transitions (wood to coal and coal to oil) were gradual and evolutionary; oil peaking will be abrupt and revolutionary.
The public sort of gets the problem, without any explanation from elites or the press. Survey USA did a poll on gas prices, and found that 80% of respondents think that gas will rise to $5 a gallon before it drops to $3 a gallon. The good news is that only 34% of Americans say they have no mass transit options, while 15% say that mass transit is a convenient option. So there's lots of substituting away from driving with current infrastructure in place, and that's not even considering carpools and auto-centered ways to save energy. But the problem is not simply energy-related, and much of the peak oil doomsday pronouncers are allowing the real villains to get off scot-free. Here's the Cunning Realist, who has been pointing out the least-notices aspect of the story.