Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Death of Globalization?

I am beginning to notice that the mass media (by mass media, I mean outlets like the Times and the Post, not television media so much) is starting to catch on to the peak oil phenomenon. They aren't saying "peak oil", but they've caught on to the fact that the days of cheap oil are over, and that the current price of a barrel is due to the sensible theory of supply-and-demand, not the nonsensical "speculation" that's been making the rounds for months.

A possible consequence of peak oil, voiced by Kunstler but also others, will be the death (or at least, dramatic downsizing) of what is known as globalization. And this article in the Times seems to bear this out. What fueled the emergence of globalization (pun not intended) was cheap oil. And with globalization came many changes, among them the propensity to catch fish in the Western Hemisphere, ship it to China to be filleted, and then shipped back to be sold and consumed. I don't know what name this goes by, but suffice to say, it doesn't really make a lot of sense. But what made it doable at the time was cheap oil. Now that PO is upon us, major companies are beginning to relocate their factories from Asia to closer to home.

Global warming, lost jobs, and all the other consequences of globalism probably were not going to doom it in the long-term, but peak oil just might.

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