Thursday, December 10, 2009

Global Energy Crunch

Jorg Friedrichs-whose earlier paper "Global Energy Crunch: How Different Parts of the World Would React to a Peak Oil Scenario" I mentioned on this blog back in October-has a new paper out on the same issue, "Peak Oil Trajectories: Same Crisis, Different Responses." Setting aside the case for and against the peak oil theory (referring the reader to other papers, my own "The Impending Oil Shock" included, for a quick overview), it similarly concentrates on reactions to the situation.

Tracking three possible trajectories, "predatory militarism, totalitarian retrenchment and socioeconomic adaptation" (based on the cases of Japan, North Korea and Cuba examined in the previous paper, and revisited here), much of its analysis will be familiar to those who read the first paper, but this second one offers a more comprehensive and polished set of projections-which are, perhaps predictably, "not a cosy world to imagine" as Friedrichs notes. However, as he rightly notes, the scenario (which differs from my own in key points, not least of them his predictions of how the standing of Europe and Japan would shift relative to that of the U.S.) nonetheless should not be treated dismissively.

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