Thursday, September 4, 2008

The End of Travel

This article was published a month ago, in a Canadian newspaper, but it's very important to us as well. It's about, yes, peak oil, and how it will affect the airline industry. More considerably, how it will affect our ability to travel. This article points out, briefly, the profit margin of the airline industry. In order for the airlines to run at a profit, oil must be less than 100 dollars a barrel. At the time of publication, it was $124. And it's gone down further, but does anyone believe that gas will go down to approximately ten dollars a gallon, as in 1999? I don't think so.

There are varying opinions on how peak oil will impact the airline industry. Some believe it will vanish altogether. But I don't, and the writer of this article appears to feel the same. It will just be more out of reach for the lower and middle classes. The upper class, and wealthy governments and corporations will still be able to fly. But this poses another set of problems for how Peak Oil will split our society into two.

I have used air travel a few times in my life, but they've always been to forgettable, unremarkable places. If peak oil does indeed have this impact on air travel, I'll regret not getting a passport earlier and going somewhere else in the world. I'd always meant to, but until a few months ago, I was one of those many who took everything for granted and always thought that air travel would be within reach.

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