This blog entry is basically a placeholder for a continuation of the (fascinating) discussion of the world of the late 21st century that has taken over the previous blog entry.
We're not running out of oil in the short term. However, demand for oil is growing faster than supply, which means the price of oil is becoming increasingly volatile. (And sooner or later, the accessible deposits are going to play out and the supply is actually going to start shrinking.)
We aren't dependent on oil for energy. However, oil has a huge advantage for us in that it is easily storable and transportable, and is very energy-dense: a really efficient electrical battery can store less than a twentieth of the energy locked up in an equivalent weight of gasoline.
So what the post oil world means to me is a huge restructuring of our transport infrastructure, and everything that depends on cheap land transportation — from suburban sprawl to big box retail stores and personal vehicles, everything is up for grabs.
What other structural changes are on the cards for the late 21st century?