We thought about: What alternate sources of energy our future cities might need to rely on if we run out of oil and natural gasses? What materials we might need to use if there’s no more metal to mine? How overpopulation might intensify this issue. What scarce resources will be left for use in the developing world.
Within this domain, I want to focus on how our society will accommodate in post peak-oil times, when we’ve used up all our natural resources and what it might mean to live in a completely closed loop economy. Will we have to start going to landfills for resources we left there? Or will we have to burn away old possessions to obtain material for the new things we desire? Just as 3D printing is making manufacturing a domestic activity, will we be able to recycle the things we don’t need at home ? Or will we need to look towards sharing economies and biomimicry more seriously.
Here is some early research
We’ve hit “peak oil”; now comes permanent price volatility:It is estimated that global peak-oil will hit in 2025.
Why we’ll never run out of peak oil: The term “peak oil” seems to have been completely forgotten. Not only that—it is beginning to look as though the U.S. could largely cease to depend on the Middle East as its principal supplier. What could this mean for the distribution of resources amongst developed and developing countries?
We will never run out of oil: Economics 101 tells us that we will have a series of price increases and a series of reductions in the total amount of gasoline consumed. Eventually the price will reach a point where gasoline will become a niche good purchased by very few consumers, while other consumers will have found alternatives to gas. When this happens there will still be plenty of oil in the ground, but consumers will have found alternatives that make more economic sense to them, so there will be little, if any, demand for gasoline.
Pressure on dwindling resources threatens global chaos: Food, metal and fuel prices have been nearly four times as volatile since 2005 than they were in the preceding 25 years. Pressure on the world’s resources is becoming so great the situation could trigger a proliferation of hunger and warfare hugely damaging to the global economy.
Putting landfill gas to good use: Landfill gas can be used to produce electricity, steam or heat, and can also be used as an alternative fuel.