Oil plays an important role in our current economic system. It is responsible for significant chunk of the global job market and it is traded significantly between countries and companies, making it a large part of the world’s imports and exports. Consumption of oil is at an all-time high.
The World Energy Council, an alliance of over 90 countries, predicts this can go on for a quite a bit of time: 40 years at least. Some scientists disagree with this claim, though. They believe the Earth has reached “peak oil” status and any oil left will be quickly used up.
Researchers at the University of Maryland, for instance, predict that “production peak for conventional oil is likely before 2030″ and that it might peak as soon as 2020. If that turns out to be true, oil will play a much less significant role in the global economy: from imports and exports to job creation.
Right now, though, the research sides with the World Energy Council. We have at least 40 years before oil will need to be reconsidered as the world’s main energy source. Alternative sources, which most nations are slow to adopt, might have to be rapidly implemented all over the world.
If not, nations of the earth might face a loss of energy. The infrastructure people rely upon, from the highways and river dams to the ships and the airplanes, will not be able to function as they once did. In fact, the economy might face total collapse.