For the last year and a half I have been a serious, wide-awake student of the impending worldwide energy shortage and its likely impacts. My education began in earnest in January or February of 2007, when the truth about Peak Oil hit me like a two-by-four upside the head. Since then, I've heard a lot of predictions about the sorts of oil price and financial market impacts that the world and the United States were likely to experience.
Seeing predictions come true is for me a surreal experience. When oil first traded for over ninety dollars a barrel last November, I remember going outside the office one day at lunch, sitting on a park bench, and saying "Oh, wow!" to myself over and over. Today is another surreal time, an astonished, "Oh, snap!" time. Banks have been failing in earnest ever since August or September 2007, the failures growing larger and larger each time. Now Lehman Brothers has failed. Merrill Lynch was sold to Bank of America under emergency conditions. The Dow lost over 500 points. My co-workers were so distracted that they hardly got anything done. Several of them, who have heard my rants and warnings regarding Peak Oil and its likely impacts, stopped me in the hall or stopped by my desk to talk, to wonder, in some cases to ask worried questions.
There's more to come. Chevron is warning of potentially severe gasoline supply disruptions in the United States over the next few weeks as a result of Hurricane Ike (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/business/15oil.html?_r=1&ref=us&oref=slogin). Other oil company executives are calling for gas rationing (http://www.washtimes.com/news/2008/sep/15/gas-rationing-needed-former-oil-executive-says/). The action over the next few weeks should heat up considerably.
It is almost too late, but now is the time to make such preparations as you can for what may be a very lean future, if you haven't started already. Now is also the time for Christians to show themselves to be prudent and wise and people of integrity, ready to lend a helping hand to those in need. There will soon be lots of people in need.
By the way, if you care at all about social justice, please read my recent post, “Money and Filthy Hands.” Especially if you live in Oregon. Please.