I just polished off Jeff Rubin’s book “Why your world is about to get a whole lot smaller.” Jeff’s book is a excellent foray in the complications of oil, the economy and our future. As the former chief economist of CIBC World Markets he carries a lot clout, although he has been branded something of a maverick.
While most of the book was review for me he did make one point that has stuck with me. High oil prices are what tipped the global economy over in to recession. The recession drops demand for oil and the price of oil comes back to normal. What happens when we recover? Oil demand will increase and the price will come back up again, until another recession forces it back down. As oil production declines the economy will hit a continuously dropping ceiling and retreat. Only decoupling ourselves from oil will enable us to break this cycle.
Jeff tackles the issue of Peak Oil with the depth and breadth of a seasoned economist. He carefully illustrates how our society is deeply dependant on oil and paints a picture of a smaller de-globalized world.