It is par for the course that with oil hovering between $70 and $80 per barrel Americans have continued to buy SUVs and trucks at a rapid pace. Politicians don't have constituents screaming at them because gas is $4.00 per gallon, so it is no longer an issue for them. They need to focus on the November elections. It is no time to discuss a difficult issue that requires foresight and honesty. It is no time to tell the American public that oil will be over $200 a barrel within the next 5 years. Anyone who dared mention on CNBC today that oil will be over $200 a barrel would be eviscerated by Bartiromo and Kudlow, who see no crisis looming on the horizon. Politicians, the mainstream media and the American public in general have a breathtakingly myopic view of the world. Despite the obvious facts staring them in the face, Americans believe cheap oil is here to stay. Many seem to think that we are the chosen people and it is their right to have an endless supply of cheap oil, as if the American way of life had been granted by God.
A funny thing happened on our way to permanent prosperity and unlimited cheap oil. The right to prosperity was yanked out from underneath us by the current Greater Depression. The worldwide economic downturn has masked the onset of peak cheap oil.
Therefore, when it hits America with its full fury, it will be a complete surprise to the ignorant masses and the ignorant politicians who run this country. A Gallup Poll in August asked Americans about our most important problems. Where is the concern about future energy supplies? It isn't on the radar screens of Americans. They are probably more worried about whether The Situation will hook up with Snookie on the Jersey Shore reality show.
It is not surprising that the American public, American politicians, and the American media don't see the impending crisis. The organizations that have an interest in looking farther than next week into the future have all concluded that the downside of peak oil will cause chaos throughout the world. The US Military, the German Military, and the UK Department of Energy have all done detailed studies of the situation and come to the same conclusions. Social chaos, economic confusion, trade barriers, conflict, food shortages, riots, and war are in our future.
The U.S. was warned in 2005. Its own Department of Energy commissioned a report by Robert Hirsch to examine peak oil and its potential consequences to the US. The introduction stated:
"The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase dramatically, and, without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented. Viable mitigation options exist on both the supply and demand sides, but to have substantial impact, they must be initiated more than a decade in advance of peaking."