Saturday, May 28, 2011

What happened to the Soviet Union when they hit peak oil?

I am writing this post as a response to an article I found on The Oil Drum.  The Oil Drum is a site I follow, and this site has many good articles regarding Peak Oil and it's effects on industrial society.  Yesterday I came across an article written by Douglas B. Reynolds.  In this article, Reynolds compares the Soviet Union experiencing Peak Oil and why we can expect to see the same results when the world experiences Peak Oil.

Link to article

Near the end of the article, Reynolds writes the following about what we can expect as the world confronts peak oil:

So knowing the world rate of oil production has already peaked, then what can we expect? The Soviet Union’s collapse offers a preview. We can expect a great stagflation, where you simultaneously see a declining economy and hyperinflation. We can expect to see high unemployment and a collapse in the world economy. We can expect to see governments without any money to pay for things like health care, pensions, environmental problems, prisons, education or defense.  We can expect to see infrastructure decay.  We can even expect to see a decline in population.  Finally, similar to the post Soviet Union, we can expect to see protests, political turmoil and revolution.  (Reynolds)

I do not think we have seen stagflation yet because the hyperinflation has not hit.  We already have high unemployment (see here...and it would not surprise me if this figure is generous).  The sentence I highlighted in bold really stood out to me.  Anyone who knows anything about US fiscal policy knows that spending money we do not have is the fiscal policy.  Finally, I do believe protests and revolutions can be found in the world today.  Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Greece, and Madison, any of these ring a bell?  We can even see small glimpses of it in Indiana.

I'll be keeping my eyes peeled.

No comments:

Post a Comment