In case you haven’t seen it, the peak oil panic really hit the mainstream this weekend:
Convinced the planet’s oil supply is dwindling and the world’s economies are heading for a crash, some people around the country are moving onto homesteads, learning to live off their land, conserving fuel and, in some cases, stocking up on guns they expect to use to defend themselves and their supplies from desperate crowds of people who didn’t prepare.
“There’s going to be things that happen when people can’t get things that they need for themselves and their families,” said Lynn-Marie, who believes cities could see a rise in violence as early as 2012. “People will be unprepared,” she said. “And we can imagine marauding hordes.”
Wrapped up in that story are my worst fears – that the Doomers are right and we are headed toward a disaster. But note that this is my worst fear, and not my expectation. There is a big difference. My expectation is that we have several years of true gut checking – where we will find out just how low we can reduce our fossil fuel usage. (In fact, that’s part of the reason for my thought experiment on $100 gasoline). It will be a difficult time (especially economically), but unlike the Doomer view, I don’t see a massive die-off. I think we have a whole lot of fat we can cut before it comes to that.
But that doesn’t mean I am unaware of – or unprepared for – the worst case scenarios.