Tomislav Markus has written an important article on
I believe he has a point.. He reasons as follows:
Our civilization is based to a large degree on (cheap) oil. Now that peak oil seems to have occurred, we will see ever rising prices of oil and products dependant on oil (food: fertilizers, herbicides, etc.; plastics, transport, to name a few). In an already debt-burdened economy, this will lead not only to inflation and stagnation, but inevitably to a collapse of our industry, agricultural production and so on.
Is there no alternative for oil? We will see an increasing use of coal, probably, but this is not a substitute for the versatility of oil. Also, use of coal contributes significantly to the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and hence, climate change. Alternative energy sources cost a lot of energy and money to develop, and both of these are becoming scarce. Plus, it will take many decades to make the transition to a solar economy, time we don't have. The conclusion of the article seems logical to me: we will witness an end to industrial civilization as we know it now.
One piece of a solution to the current crisis (and the worst is yet to come), seems to be the Transition Town Initiatives that are becoming more popular today. A more local scale of economy seems unavoidable in the light of the above considerations.