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The Soft Belly of The Oil Industry: an Upcoming Seneca Collapse? 

The Soft Belly of The Oil Industry: an Upcoming Seneca Collapse? 

 
Ugo Bardi explains his idea of an impending “Seneca Collapse” of the world’s oil industry at the session on climate change of the meeting of the Club of Rome in Vienna, on 10 Nov 2017. What follows are not the exact words said, but a text which maintains the gist of this brief comment. It was focused on the concept that the oil industry has a “soft belly” in the fact that it produces mainly fuel for engines used for transportation. If this market were reduced by the introduction of electric vehicles and other transportation innovations, the whole industry could collapse. That would be a good thing for the earth’s ecosystem and for humankind in general.
 
Dear colleagues, we are having an interesting discussion on how to stop climate change and I think I could add some thoughts of mine on the basis of my recent work that I published in the form of the book titled “The Seneca Effect“.
The problem we have been discussing is how to limit emissions and we saw that it needs to be done fast and even drastically if we want to avoid the worse effects of climate change. Obviously, it is not easy. (image from Skeptical Science)
Most of what has been said today was based on a “top-down” approach, which I may also describe as supply-limiting. That is, we are speaking of a carbon tax, of emission limits, and the like; measures that governments should take in order to limit the production of fossil fuels. I don’t have to tell you that it is an effort that has been ongoing for several years and yet emissions keep growing. It doesn’t seem to work
So,  can we take the opposite approach? That is, look at the demand side in a “bottom-up” approach?

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