January 5th, 2015

Peak Oil

2015 Predictions

It's the new year, and that means one things to all the futurists and wanna-be futurists out there: Time for predictions!

Kunstler's annual predictions post is as dramatic as ever. The guy seems to be playing doomer Martingale: If your pessimistic predictions turn out to be overly so, make your predictions next year twice as pessimistic, you're bound to be right eventually!

John Michael Greer's predictions are also justifiably gloomy, but I think his predictions are better calibrated (and better explained).

Do any of you have other links of note to share on that topic? Predictions of your own?

As for me, here are my incredibly vague predictions:

Scarcity means that oil prices will rise eventually, but I think the likely scenario is sustained low prices next year. Any sort of big economic disruption is going to cause a big decrease in demand, even as it hits supply. So you might not see high prices again until the next "recovery". The next big crash could be in 2015, but maybe not. (On the other hand, Kunstler is right that some events in the middle east could cause a supply crunch so fast that price would ramp up rapidly.)

While immigration will continue to be a contentious political issue, there won't be "open ethnic warfare" in "France, Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden", nor will the level of violent racial conflict in the US return to the levels of the 1960s or 1970s (it seems the Kunstler is really hankering for a race war). No huge constitutional crisis, either. Dysfunction and gridlock will continue to be the political order of the day. (Wouldn't be surprised if things get gradually more interesting as we move into 2016, though.)

I'm not making any predictions about the European monetary union. Not making predictions about the Russia/Ukraine situation, except that it probably won't lead to the outbreak of a world war next year.