December 26, 2007

A calm view of increasing energy prices

I've written a lot here about my expectation that energy prices have nowhere to go but up, though talking about even $5 gasoline seems to be difficult for a lot of people's imagination. (My guesses for twenty years from now range from $10 to $20 in today's dollars.)

Economist Gregory Clark wrote a piece on the end of oil recently that I recommend, though it seems far too calm to me. First, Clark seems willing to accept that the age of petroleum is coming to an end. Second, he's very calm - which is interesting given that he's describing a world in which we see "energy five times as expensive as at present".

Just as a thought experiment, think about what increasing your energy costs - gas, electric, natural gas, propane, etc. - by a factor of five would be like. Remember that food costs are largely based on energy as well, and would climb by a similar factor. What would it mean for you? And what would it mean for Dryden?

(I probably should have asked this after the holidays, but it seems good to ask about it as people are making their New Year's resolutions.)

For more comments, see here, where I originally found this.

Posted by simon at December 26, 2007 10:56 AM in
Note on photos


KAZ said:

We just downsized cars again, going in five years from a Pathfinder to a Subaru to a Hyundai that gets over 30 mpg--we decided that gas mileage was more important than four-wheel drive, even with our steeeeeeeep driveway. Paul keeps threatening to go back to a motorcycle to make his 40-minute commute.

And we would for sure go the geothermal route rather than end up paying $10K annually for heating oil!

My friend the rich Republican geologist-turned-energy-analyst wrote "Happy Peak Oil" on last year's holiday card. If he says it, you'd better believe it's true.

Mary Ann said:

I met with TC Local people last week. I think they were happy to meet a municipal official who already understands and accepts the concept of peak oil and is ready to move on to planning. Your post inspired me to write about it at Dryden Democrats