RugbyD wrote:bleach168 wrote:RugbyD wrote:getting this back on track, the concept of energy independence is one of, if not THE worst economic and geopolitical ideas ever. Discuss.
I know where you're going with this. And I know you feel the free markets will solve the problem.
But when Peak Oil hits, everything is just going to stop and we will literally be living in the stone age. The transition to a new fuel source may take over 20 years according to the Hirsch report. Eventually, we're going to have to make the switch. It's just a question of whether it is going to be gradual or abrupt.
The solution for a gradual transition couldn't be simpler. Just raise taxes on oil and gasoline and keep raising them over time to make sure the price continues to go up. Then allow the free market to come up with whatever alternative is deemed best.
i'm not sure you're thinking along the same line as me re: energy independence. provide more detail if you don't mind.
the free market works best when it is distorted the least. raising taxes is distortive, especially when it is done in punitive, behavior-influencing or social engineering fashion.
I find the notion that everything will just grind to a halt pretty ridiculous and alarmist. Oil is a finite resource, but between new dicsoveries, varying well lives, and better extraction technology for traditional and non-traditional methods, I have no doubt that the transition to different energy sources will not be majorly disruptive.
Current estimates have world oil reserves effectively running out by 2040, so extraction technology better get more advanced FAST. A noticeable discomfort regarding oil running out will reverberate throughout the world in the early 2020s, and a full scale panic will erupt in the 2030s, giving extraction technology only a few years to develop. Never mind that it's only going to buy us a few more years, a couple decades at the most optimistic. So what's the point in investing so much money into oil extraction methods when it's going to be basically useless in 40-50 years? Especially since we'll still have to work on alternative energy sources concurrently. Oil is soon going to be considered to be the Windows 95 of fuel resources: cumbersome, outdated, and full of problems.