The military consumes a lot of oil; precisely how much, not even they seem to know. But not only do they buy and consume lots of oil, but they ship it all over the world to whatever theater they need. It isn’t exactly efficient, and the Department of Defense knows it. They’ve been moving towards greener, less oily ideas of getting troops and equipment around, ideas that may one day filter down to the civilian population.
But while the Department of Defense may not know how much oil it uses, it has a good idea of when it will start running short of supplies. A recent report suggests that as soon as 2015 all the surplus oil production could be gone, and production could fall short on the order of 10 million barrels… per day
There are lots of arguments for, and against, peak oil, when it will happen, and just how bad it will be. But as a single entity, the US Military is the top consumer of energy in the world. The military pays as much as $400 a gallon for gas, when you figure in all the shipping, equipment, and personal required to get the fuel where it is destined to go. So when the military is predicting massive shortages just a few years out, we should all tune in and pay attention.
Hell, peak oil could happen even sooner. Many of the world’s oil-producing countries aren’t exactly chummy with the U.S., nor are they the most upfront and honest about, well, anything it seems. Saudi Arabia may be exaggerating their oil reserves by as much as a third. Even Kuwaiti scientists funded by Kuwaiti Big Oil are now saying peak oil could come as soon as 2014. Demand is set to hit a record this year, with the world as a whole consuming on the order of 86.6 million barrels per day. That would break the record of 86.5 million barrels per day set in 2007, just before the recession. As the world economy recovers, demand is sure to surge, despite green initiatives.
High oil prices could cause all sorts of unintended problems, like despots, energy wars, and worse. Is five years enough time to drive down demand (at least in the U.S.), or are we all still going to be addicted to dino juice when the shortages start? [Ed. Note: As much as I liked the Mad Max movies, I’m thinking I’d like to steer clear of actually living them out… m’kay?]
I’m calling $4 a gallon gas this summer. And it is only gonna get worse.