The world teeters on the brink of economic disaster due to energy shortages caused by war. The main oil-producing nations are unable and unwilling to increase output, even though prices are high and threatening to go much higher. The solutions being proposed—electric cars and renewable energy technologies—are coming on line, but not fast enough. Building them to the scale required to maintain current levels of economic activity and societal complexity would require enormous amounts of minerals and metals that are also becoming scarce. We appear to be hurtling toward geopolitical and economic turmoil.

Does anything about this scenario sound familiar? It might. It happens to be almost exactly what I discussed in my book The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies, published in 2003. I have no interest in rubbing salt in society’s worsening wounds by saying “I told you so,” but it would be a dereliction of duty for me not to point out the facts.

My book was one of the first to discuss peak oil—the point when supplies of the world’s most economically pivotal resource start to dwindle. Of course, the most pessimistic predictions for the timing of the peak were wrong. Many analysts thought that petroleum production would start to decline in the years between 2005 and 2010. Instead, the rate of global conventional oil extraction flatlined during that period, and is just now beginning to descend from its long plateau. Meanwhile, unconventional oil (tar sands and tight oil produced by fracking and horizontal drilling) enabled new heights of production starting around 2010. The general consensus thereafter was that oil supplies can easily continue to increase for the foreseeable future; all it takes is more investment.

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