Cities that used to matter get left to rot into ruins. Peak Oil destroyed the housing industry by making commuting too expensive for enough people that the markets collapsed and the Derivatives Bubble burst after all those jobs building overpriced houses stopped. People couldn't use their 2nd mortgage as an ATM anymore, couldn't buy the latest fashionable and inefficient SUV with high markup from Detroit. That ended most autoworker jobs, something we all observed. This collapse had to bail out the COMPANYS but not the employees. They up and left Detroit, which is down half its population or more, and huge regions of it no longer have utilities, including street lights. Crime and murders are really common. Its kind of post apocalyptic, apparently. The pictures out of Detroit show the plants consuming abandoned houses. Trees and vines tearing them apart, exposing them to nature. These places are going to fall down.
Think about Hurricane Katrina and how long it took the Govt to respond. Many cry racism. I do too. The president at the time paid little official attention, but his greatest detractors, like the President of France, ignored race riots for 10 days in Paris and Marseille. Ahem. Lots of guilt to go around. When the hurricanes were over and the flood waters receded, entire neighborhoods of houses are contaminated with raw sewage and rotting wallboard, mold, and completely unlivable. Shoddy contractors took their time fulfilling very specific contracts and milking them for money. Meanwhile, people took their checks and didn't move back. The 9th ward is largely empty. Its a ruin.
Hurricane Sandy destroyed coastal New Jersey. Much of it is still without power or heat, despite it being winter. Many people have already left for good having nothing left to lose. Bulldozers have taken down neighborhoods and condemned houses. Many more are begging the city to condemn their own so they can take a check and leave the ruins behind, move somewhere not destroyed. Somewhere will basic utilities that still work. It doesn't help that there's months of waiting for power transformers because they stopped making them in the First World about 10 years ago. The wait from the company in China? 18-24 months. I suspect that transformers are probably being salvaged from places like Detroit and shipped to New Jersey to fix those problems, but I might be optimistic there. After all, that would make sense. And turning New Jersey from slums into Rich People Mansions requires the blocks to be ruins first for best and cheapest price, maximum profits in the deal.
Someday there will be the Big One in California. In LA or SF. Most of those cities will fall down, and what doesn't fall will have its water pipes broken, worth trillions of dollars to repair. Literally. And years will be required to do it. The Loma Prieta quake in SF in 1989 took 10 years to see the broken water pipes replaced. All of them in that entire region, even 100 miles away, were damaged and cracked by the ground waves. I doubt many but Civil Engineers even knew about it. I did because I was there and paying attention. I SAW the ground waves in that quake. And YES, the streets leaked water in cracks for years afterwards. When that happens, thanks to the end of cheap everything, it is unlikely that repairs will be fast enough to prevent the locals from packing their surviving stuff and leaving. Its also likely that rich people will contract their repairs privately, first, and the poor won't be able to afford those repairs. They'll almost certainly have their water and sewer off for health reasons, since commonly they're put in the same trench next to each other, under the street. So when they crack, the fluids mix and what comes out of the tap... Well, you get the picture. Now imagine the health department and building inspectors do in PRK what they did in Detroit and start shutting down neighborhoods and ordering "mandatory boiling", when we have no way to do that since our natural gas pipes will be ruptured and off too. Ergo, everyone but the rich leave. The neighborhoods get left behind as Ruins, once again.
This is the economic impact of Peak Oil, something somewhat unanticipated. It is an unintended consequence of expensive oil. We're now too poor to keep rebuilding for people who live in stupid places. We expect them to move out and leave the ruins behind as a warning to others. Lots of places are built where they shouldn't be. The levees in the lowlands of the California San Joaquin and Sacramento River delta have farms and houses behind them, despite the design being inherently flawed and failing. Back when California had money, before the Housing Bubble burst, there were plans to fix this, do repairs to delay catastrophe. Those repairs remain unfunded so they aren't happening. Instead the people behind them are warned to get out when there's flood warnings. To stay with friends or family, to evacuate. A repeat of the 9th ward flooding is likely one of these spring thaws, when too much water comes pouring down the mountain and overwhelms the flood control. Those levees are just waiting to erode a little more, to fail and flood hundreds or thousands of homes along the American River, the Sacramento River, any river with levees, basically. Most of the delta is at or slightly below sea level. Flooding from the fresh water snow melt is highly probable. And I'm not even including the fact the levees can be shaken apart by earthquakes. Oh, I just did. Will the Nation pay for water pipes in SF and levees in Sacramento and Stockton? Hell no. Not enough votes to justify it, and California ALWAYS votes Democrat so the govt never does anything to win them. Just take take take. Yep. Someday, Stockton will be submerged ruins, most of the delta orchards will be water bird sanctuary and lakes, and Sacramento will be a series of highland ridges surrounded by lakes where neighborhoods of poor people used to be. It might be 10-20 years from now, but its sort of inevitable unless they actually fill in behind the levees so those places can't flood. And they're not going to do that. It isn't economical.
I wonder if survivors will get Malaria from all the mosquitoes breeding in all that standing water? Or West Nile. Or Meningitis. Or Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. When will govt stop bothering to do mosquito abatement because its too expensive post oil, focus on treatment and vaccination instead? At what point is epidemic an acceptable cost? Sometime after the ruins settle a little deeper into the ground? These are also costs of peak oil. We learned a long time back that Peak Oil is a massive economic problem, not just one of simple transportation. There's all these side effects. What economic impacts are you seeing from Peak Oil?