Sunday, June 15, 2008

Unexpected consequences of the U.S.' oil use

The global food crisis has revealed that the stakes in the peak oil scenario aren't just having Americans cut down on their consumption in order to preserve some sort of familiar way of life. While high oil prices are exercising some much needed discipline on the behavior of people in the United States who are willing to engage in some of the most ecologically destructive practices through their choice of transportation, it's also contributing to global famine. High oil prices are regularly listed as being a contributing factor to the higher prices of rice around the world since chemical fertilizers are derived from petroleum. Shipping costs have increased as well.

We might gleefully rejoice in Hummer owners getting their comeuppance but the rest of the world caught between economies that don't depend much on oil and those that are very oil dependent are now suffering what will likely turn into structural crises as the oil supply goes down.

Which means that more has to be done with developing green technology that can deliver a decent quality of life to people.

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