The CSIRO Future Fuels Forum has just released a report 'Fuel For Thought' that models what would happen to the cost of petrol at the bowser if there is a 'near term peak in international oil production resulting in declining future oil supplies'. The result of the model - a wost case scenario of $8 per litre within 10 years. Here is a link to the report:
As the report correctly states, oil is the lifeblood of the Australian economy because, more than most countries, we are spread far and wide over this brown land of ours. We are accustomed to cheap oil. The major infrastructure decisions being made by our governments are based on cheap oil. So it is a very good question. Is the oil there?
The industries most likely to be be seriously impaired by rising energy costs is tourism and mining. But, due to our supermarket shelves being dependent on road tranpsort to get our goodies to us, everyone will be seriously affected. Imagine the effect on GDP and inflation if petrol hits $8 per litre! Stagflation as a way of life? I think I'm moving to Zimbabwe.
So this brings me back to my thread title; is buying a bike the best investment you could make today?
I cannot see long-term oil production being capable of feeding a global consumer society. So I am going to wean myself off oil. This involves:
1. living closer to work. I used to commute from Fitzroy (inner Melbourne) to Glen Waverley (easter sprawl) via combustible engine. I have changed my job and now get the train to work. I am happier and my bank balance is happier.
2. I now own a bike and use it for smaller distances.
3. Make the house green - light bulbs, alternative sources of power etc.
What else can I do? Be interested in what others out there are doing to wean themselves off the black stuff.
The way I see it, there are five fundamentals that drive the Australian economy:
1. cheap energy;
2. cheap debt;
3. plentiful water;
4. resource rich;
5. skilled labour force.
We have seen what has happened when 2, sourced from our best mates the Yanks, dries up. Imagine the catastrophe when 1 and 3 implodes as well.