You’re all gonna own a part of GM, so please, fellow owners, let me know what you think!
Readers of Climate Progress understand two inescapable realities that the overwhelming majority of policymakers, the status quo media, and the car companies (with one exception) do not:
- Peak oil is inevitably going to drive up gasoline prices to record levels within a few years, driving an inevitable switch to much more fuel-efficient vehicles and non-oil-based alternative fuels, of which by far the cheapest per mile is electricity.
- Avoiding catastrophic global warming requires sharp increases in fuel economy and a switch to low carbon fuels — of which there is only one available in quantity: electricity (as explained here).
Reality #1 is a more imminent day of reckoning for the car companies. After all, the only way to stop oil demand from outstripping the peaking of oil production is massive demand destruction, which is itself possible in only two ways. The first way, pursued by the Bush administration, albeit (mostly) unintentionally, is to destroy the global economy. Let’s call that the short-term “non-optimal” approach.
But in the medium and long term, for oil to be significantly below $200 a barrel and gasoline to be significantly below $5 a gallon in 2020 would take a miracle “” or rather 6 miracles see “Science/IEA: World oil crunch looming? Not if we can find six Saudi Arabias!” and “IEA says oil will peak in 2020“). See also “Merrill: Non-OPEC production has likely peaked, oil output could fall by 30 million bpd by 2015,” which noted,
Steep falls in oil production means the world now needed to replace an amount of oil output equivalent to Saudi Arabia’s production every two years, Merrill Lynch said in a research report.
A March McKinsey report concluded, “the potential looms for liquids demand growth to outpace supply creating a new spike in oil prices as soon as 2010 to 2013, depending on the depth of the economic downturn.”
Heck we’ve hit $65 a barrel and we’re still in the middle of the worst global economic collapse since the Great Depression.
Detroit has not only willfully ignored the obvious oil and climate trends as evidenced by the cars they sell (or, rather, used to sell) — but they actually joined with conservatives in blocking every major attempt by progressives to help them develop cleaner cars and to require they build more fuel-efficient cars (see “Why bail out the car companies when they bailed out on us?“)
The Obama administration certainly understands that “the equivalent to Saudia Arabia’s production every two years” can’t be found underground.