Friday, August 15, 2008

 

Peak Oil and Geopolitics

We can thank Jeff Vail for combining peak oil (specifically geological factors) with what he calls “geopolitical feedback loops,” and he has done a further service by starting a series to treat this matter in detail. You can read part one here. I won’t go into it much here except to say that he describes a potent cocktail of factors that could limit oil supply to importing nations much sooner than expected.

Unfortunately, politics seems to create more problems that it solves, and on a global scale it seems even more so. This reality has always affected how states or other groups obtain (or fail to obtain) resources and energy, but with countries and world regions so globally connected now, and especially with the global nature of trade in fossil fuels necessitated by their uneven distribution, geopolitics is coming to define everything. Look at the brouhaha over Georgia, which is seen by the big players as a pipeline corridor, rather than as a country. Now multiply that by one hundred.

With all the easy oil now found, geopolitics will increasingly play off of geology and make life — or death — miserable for millions.



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