Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Reports of Peak Oil’s Death Are Somewhat Premature

From Center for a Stateless Society:

America’s 20th century economy developed largely by adding more and more inputs of artificially cheap resources, guaranteed by the state, rather than by using resources more efficiently. The fossil fuel economy and everything dependent on it — mass production factories supplying distant markets, suburban sprawl, the car culture — was essentially a free rider on this artificial abundance created by the state. And now even the state is realizing that there are limits to its resources.

Meanwhile, a recent IMF study found that simply eliminating government subsidies to fossil fuels would reduce carbon emissions 13% worldwide. That’s not even counting subsidies to specific forms of energy consumption, like the U.S. civil aviation system and Interstate Highway System.

If climate change is a real problem — and I believe it is — it’s not something the government needs to fix. It’s something the government needs to stop causing.