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The End Of Oil Within 10 Years?


WOW for this week is regarding Oil

“We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history.”

So says Stanford University economist Tony Seba in a detailed report.

The report paints a pretty grim picture for oil bulls, and an even grimmer one for one horse economies such as that of the Saudis, who without oil under their sandals would be largely indistinguishable from the typical inhabitants of downtown Detroit – living in abandoned houses littered with empty cans of Vienna sausages, old beer cans, used needles, and rags stained with things best not mentioned in polite conversation.

“We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history. By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of autonomous vehicles (AVs), 95% of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by eets, not individuals, in a new business model we call “transport- as-a-service” (TaaS).

The TaaS disruption will have enormous implications across the transportation and oil industries, decimating entire portions of their value chains, causing oil demand and prices to plummet, and destroying trillions of dollars in investor value — but also creating trillions of dollars in new business opportunities, consumer surplus and GDP growth.”

You can read the entire report here. It’s a bit of War & Peace at 77 pages long but full of interesting nuggets that exercise the grey matter. I recommend it.

Let me say for the record that I’m often skeptical of published reports by academia. Too often academics live in a world where the number of letters behind their name is inversely correlated with real world experience, leading to all sorts of silly and often dangerous theories. Just look at Krugman… I rest my case.

Fortunately Tony Seba, the author, comes from the real world, having spent a couple decades successfully building, running, and managing businesses. As far as I can tell, he’s got a lot of practical knowledge and understands the real world:

“Oil demand will peak at 100 million barrels per day by 2020, dropping to 70 million barrels per day by 2030. That represents a drop of 30 million barrels in real terms and 40 million barrels below the Energy Information Administration’s current “business as usual” case.

This will have a catastrophic effect on the oil industry through price collapse (an equilibrium cost of $25.4 per barrel), disproportionately impacting different companies, countries, oil elds and infrastructure depending on their exposure to high-cost oil.”

How do you spell catastrophic?

  • The impact of the collapse of oil prices throughout the oil industry value chain will be felt as soon as 2021.
  • In the U.S., an estimated 65% of shale oil and tight oil — which under a “business as usual” scenario could make up over 70% of the U.S. supply in 2030 — would no longer be commercially viable.
  • Approximately 70% of the potential 2030 production of Bakken shale oil would be stranded under a 70 million barrels per day demand assumption.
  • Infrastructure such as the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines would be stranded, as well.
  • Other areas facing volume collapse include offshore sites in the United Kingdom, Norway and Nigeria; Venezuelan heavy-crude elds; and the Canadian tar sands.
  • Conventional energy and transportation industries will suffer substantial job loss. Policies will be needed to mitigate these adverse effects.

I can already hear the dismissive crowd. This Tony is loony?

But Before We Dismiss the Idea…


“What can be more palpably absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives traveling twice as fast as stagecoaches?” – The Quarterly Review, March, 1825


“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” – Steve Ballmer, USA Today, April 30, 2007

Below is a detailed chart of the growth of iPhone market share ever since:

The fact is history is replete with examples of stodgy old men in chunky jumpers scoffing at new technology and being taken seriously by the establishment, only to find themselves years later being laughed at as “the old fart who got it so wrong”. The consequences, other than their progeny having to change their names and move to Venezuela, have been profound.

This list of man made life changing technologies which were never “seen” is not a short one.

The internal combustion engine, the printing press, penicillin, wave theory, surgery, public key cryptography, gene therapy, crypto currencies, parabolic geometry, biochemistry, computational fluid dynamics, physics, graphene, satellites, the string bikini. Life changing stuff.

Clearly it happens. Is Tony onto something?


There are two main factors the report points to though:

1. The economics of transport-as-a-service (TaaS), and that it offers a vastly lower-cost transport alternative — four to ten times cheaper per mile than buying a new car and two to four times cheaper than operating an existing vehicle in 2021.

Sure, we can point to Peach and her husband Storm, raising their 2.4 snowflakes in an off-the-grid house made of hemp and recycled toilet rolls, being desirous of air they don’t chew before swallowing it. They’re simply modern age hippies.

Plus, on the other end of the spectrum we can argue that there is no way that Billy-Bob will take Betty-Sue out in anything other than something that when accelerating is the closest thing to a mobile orgasm you’ll find. Neither of these people matter when subjected to the gravity of economics.

More than a move towards electric vehicles the main economic driver suggested in the report is that of transport-as-a-services (TAAS).

Essentially, this is Uber and any transportation-on-demand service. If we look at how readily and rapidly internet users have adopted to using the cloud then we can see the same process potentially unfold.

In 2012, ride sharing was when you asked your buddy for a lift to work because he was going that way and you were too hungover to drive yourself. It wasn’t an industry. Today, it’s a billion dollar industry which has gone global.

Below, some stats from Statista:



As I was reading through the report I recalled a conversation I’d recently had with my sister in law who no longer owns a car and instead regularly uses something called GoGet. Here is a screen grab which shows what they’re doing.


They simply station a number of vehicles around the city and you search for the closest one to you in order to book it for your day out or whatever you need. Indeed, why own the damn thing if you don’t need to?

This brings me to the second factor:

2. The rise of use of electric vehicles



The report also argues that insurance of autonomous vehicles will be lower as they are proved safer. This is already happening, causing the spread between human driven and autonomous vehicles insurance premiums to widen.


Jesus, where do I start?

Geopolitical: What happens to the Middle East, Venezuela, Russia, Norway?

Industry: What happens if demand collapses for personal cars? The entire value chain, auto loans, auto servicing, dealerships, vehicle insurance… Poof! We’re not talking small numbers here.

What do you think?

Is what Tony and his team suggest realistic?

  • Yes, this is the future
  • No, this is unrealistic
  • Something else (Comment on the blog)

Please drop your thoughts in the comments as I’d love to hear all arguments either way.

– Chris

“Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you


31 Comments on "The End Of Oil Within 10 Years?"

  1. twocats on Thu, 18th May 2017 3:43 pm 

    this guy is just a straight up assh&*( trying to sound waaaay too cool.

  2. _______________________________ on Thu, 18th May 2017 3:51 pm 

    Fuck you author.

    So china will be burning more mercury laden coal to power their wheel chairs. That mercury just keeps building up in the atmosphere then thunderstorms bring it down for me to ingest. Fuck you china

  3. Sissyfuss on Thu, 18th May 2017 4:02 pm 

    So if the Saudis were living in an abandoned house in Detroit and got their rags stained with assorted bodily fluids, would Allah command them to put the disgusting things back on their heads?

  4. Cloggie on Thu, 18th May 2017 4:04 pm 

    Wouldn’t say end of oil in 10 years time, but TaaS will be a great contributor to demand destruction of oil.

  5. makati1 on Thu, 18th May 2017 5:24 pm 

    Another ad from the techie bullshitters. Oil may not even last 10 tears. The financial crash will kill it off or put consuming it out of the reach of most of us.

  6. Davy on Thu, 18th May 2017 6:30 pm 

    “Jesus, where do I start?”

  7. Go Speed Racer on Thu, 18th May 2017 6:32 pm 

    Article is too bull schit for trying to read.
    People want more and more oil. Not less and less.

  8. Apneaman on Thu, 18th May 2017 6:38 pm 

    Venezuela’s oil production on the brink of collapse

    “Desperation is spreading in Venezuela as violent protests continue to paralyze the country, further damaging the country’s shattered economy. Venezuela’s already-decrepit oil industry is deteriorating by the day, and an outright implosion is no longer out of the question.”

    In secret recording, Venezuelan general pushes for snipers to control demonstrators

    I wonder if the general was trained up at THE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS?

  9. Davy on Thu, 18th May 2017 7:25 pm 

    “I wonder if the general was trained up at THE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS?”

    I am sure they got their training from the Russian, Chinese, and Cubans. Chavez generals got new friends back on 92 or didn’t you hear?

  10. newfie on Thu, 18th May 2017 7:25 pm 


  11. efarmer on Thu, 18th May 2017 10:33 pm 

    “The internal combustion engine, the printing press, penicillin, wave theory, surgery, public key cryptography, gene therapy, crypto currencies, parabolic geometry, biochemistry, computational fluid dynamics, physics, graphene, satellites, the string bikini. Life changing stuff.” So is Tony onto stuff? Of course he is, he is selling technology as a replacement of the incomparable fossil fuels exploit as the future when they don’t work for whatever sum of reasons manifest and strikingly create massive supply / price failure. I think he does not know how we got here to where the high tech is so enabled as a top tier moneymaker, and confuses it making money with it producing energy. Love high tech, hate the memes that confuse it’s potential efficiency with reducing energy consumption with having supplanted where energy comes from. This is different from calling Lithium white diesel, but the same sort of nonsense IMHO based on where to invest to make a killing on how high tech overcomes physics and saves the world by a disruptive new concept of IT beating F=ma.

  12. GregT on Fri, 19th May 2017 12:31 am 


    And if i might add, NOFC. (not a fucking clue)

  13. Theedrich on Fri, 19th May 2017 4:52 am 

    Entertaining fantasy reading about The End of Oil.

    But there are other things to consider.

    Happy-talkers, Leftists and nihilists refuse to recognize that we are links in a chain, not the culmination of evolution.  They seek to terminate the entirety of history and biology for their own selfish and momentary glory.  Modern advertizing seeks to nullify the fact that a human being is such a link, not an end in himself;  it promotes egotism, whence nihilism.  For when an individual, accepting the premiss that he is the perfection of all being, recognizes that he himself will die, as will eventually the world as a whole, he concludes that there is no reason whatsoever for existence.  Nihilists are aided by the manifest nonsense and fraud pervasive throughout the anthropomorphizing religions of the world.  They therefore conclude that nothing paranormal ever happens, that there is no purposive Mind behind the cosmos, and that they should commit suicide — after having killed or imprisoned the populations under them, that is.  They demand that the Mind undergirding the cosmos have the same goals they themselves have, and cannot imagine that that inframind has its own goals, seen partially in evolutionary epistemology.

    Furthermore, in the West, the Left has a frozen mindset and continues to ignore the reality of ongoing change, such as:

    declining U.S. impregnability
    growing threats from all quarters
    diminishing returns in industrial and infrastructural sectors
    increasing national debt (based on fantasy views about infinite money supply)
    a house increasingly divided

    The world’s largest religions view the human situation from different angles and practices.  Buddhism (especially Hinayana and Zen) and some parts of Yogic Hinduism see the answer to life (which they essentially define as suffering) as utter escape from what they see as the tortuous cycle of birth, death and rebirth through deep meditation resulting in complete “out-blowing” (nir-vana) of the candle of the soul (the reincarnating principle in living beings).  Islam envisions a different world, as thoroughly material as the current one, except characterized with eternal feasting in a happy heavenly whorehouse.  Infidels are consigned to a firey hell.  Islam, with its slavery, female genital mutilation, and forever effervescing murderousness, is the most materialistic of the chief religions.  Christianity in a way lies between Buddhism and Islam, with the popular archetype of its afterlife poetically portrayed by Dante’s Divine Comedy and its Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso.  The religion’s mystics, saints and scholars, however, are much closer to the Oriental view than to Islam in their understanding of the Prime Mover of the cosmos.

    Because of the underlying intellectual thrust of Christianity throughout the centuries, with its continuation of the Greco-Roman emphasis on learning, logic, philosophy and formal schooling, it produced science, exploration and the modern world.  (It might also be mentioned that Christianity provided both western Europe and the eastern Slavs with their respective alphabets.)  At the same time, its very success also generated a culture which has rejected its own parentage (cf. Nietzsche on this), especially its mystical component.  This rejection has gone to the extreme of blindly refusing to admit the reality of the paranormal and effectively embraced an atheisic materialism, even though retaining “compassion,” etc., for political appearances.  In tandem with this historically new Zeitgeist, Christianity has similarly accepted genosuicidal compassion, White-phobic “charity,” and Albert Schweitzerist “Save-the-Negro” thinking, and become a force for the destruction of the culture it produced.

    In addition, the culture of atheistic materialism, with its political expression best seen in anti-White Leftism, stands at the precipice.  It seeks to reduce all human intelligence to the lowest African common denominator.  It aims to submerge the West through unchecked immigration from medieval Islamic countries, criminal and primitive lands in Africa, south Asia and Latin America.  And it demands economic activities which result in the poisoning of the oceans, the pollution of the air, and the desertification of the land.

    Meanwhile the danger of war increases.  There is, moreover, much in history to suggest that wars have a strong paranormal component.  When any species begins to override the capacity of its environment, it takes measures to reduce its numbers.  (The classic, partly mythical example is the overpopulating lemmings who try to swim to a new land to populate there, but often drown in the process.)  Among humans, shrinking ecological niches, as well as ideology, internal politics and many other factors often lead to wars of offense and ensuing defensive operations by the attacked parties.  (The U.S. likes to portray all of its wars as merely defensive.)  But now the entire earth is imperilled by the overpopulation of increasingly ever lower-IQ masses.  The cosmic urge toward higher intelligence is being defeated by global conversion of homo sapiens into homo insipiens.  We are morphing into a criminal species, as British astrophysicist Fred Hoyle (in his 1964-66 book, Of Men and Galaxies) once feared.  And we may have already passed the point of no return.

  14. deadlykillerbeaz on Fri, 19th May 2017 5:58 am 

    Nihilists. F–k me, say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, at least its an ethos – Walter Sobjak

    China is not to blame for the presence of mercury in coal.

    China has been burning natural gas since 2000 BC, used bamboo for pipes. They are the original CO2 violators.

    Purdy much nihilism right there.

    Don’t eat fish from the ocean if you don’t want mercury in your daily feasting.

    You are going to die. Doesn’t mean at the end of each day you die and then the next day you live again. It’s called sleep.

    Problem is, most people remain at the sleep stage even when awake. There is no reality for them. Daydreaming dreams, gives them hope.

    Then it dawns on them that work is what is going to keep them from dying, they will live to see another day. At least you will get fed some gruel at the end of each day, something to look forward to.

    Arbeit Macht Frei! Gives them hope! lol

    Dying takes a lifetime to happen, if you’re lucky, it won’t come along until your dying day. Just the way it is in this world. At least you got to be a part of it all, instead of nothing at all.

    Dying can wait, living is better in the living years.

    Let’s see, the Cree captured the Sioux and sold them into slavery. Sioux men and women were hauled to Montreal, a slave trade center, then shipped to the Caribbean Basin to be whipped all day long while working the cane fields.

    Makes living a real chore.

    The Choctaw made a good living hunting down runaway slaves in the antebellum South.

    When the Cherokee were extirpated by Andrew Jackson, they dragged with them an estimated 20,000 slaves they owned.

    The Trail of Beers over to the Oklahoma Territory was fraught with suffering and misery. Misery loves company, so the slaves provided the company. Had Moses been there, he would have led the way to Shang-ri-la.

    Lo and behold, when the Cherokee arrived in Oklahoma, the slaves began to run away. You gotta wonder why, what good is freedom when you have to go hungry?

    Humans can become chattel. Auctioned to the highest bidder.

    They’ll all be criminals by then, so slavery is the desired action to control incorrigible humans who won’t play by the rules. Place them in concentration camps where you can keep a close eye on them.

    You can even form corporations to profit from their labor. It’s called UNICOR. A surreptitious slave trading platform, but keep it a secret, don’t tell anybody that slavery exists even today in this godforsaken world.

    Arbeit Macht Frei even today. How can one escape these gulags set up everywhere you go, these human habitation zones?

    How about a new Reign of Terror? Roll out the guillotines and let’s get started!

    It will be the end of civilization before the end of oil. Oil has been there for millions of years and will continue to be there for millions of more years providing the earth doesn’t fall into the sun or get hit by the moon.

    Once you’re dead, brother, life ain’t worth living.– Nat King Cole

  15. Davy on Fri, 19th May 2017 6:02 am 

    “The cosmic urge toward higher intelligence is being defeated by global conversion of homo sapiens into homo insipiens.”

    Urge towards higher intelligence is a human centric way to look at a cosmic process and it reflects human feeling of exceptionalism. We want to think “intelligence” and especially “human intelligence” is part of the “motive force” in the universe but I suspect it is but one of the urges. Intelligence is only given acquiescence through the geologic and the cosmic and this urge to intelligence is likely not a force that urge the universe into existence or not. Intelligence has a process of self-organization, self-reflection, and self-deception. Infinite knowledge is complete stasis. No intelligence is chaos. The cosmos is the play between the two. Humans at least here on earth are the apex of these three elements of this urge.

    The cosmos may be a growth that self reflects at a point but this self-reflection is also deceptive because once the self-reflection occurs duality destroys connectivity. This is the very edge of transition where intelligence self-reflects and dwells in the so called “divine “of all knowing. This awakening is no more than a fleeting instant and it is gone yet always is. This is because intelligence is not separate but part and a part cannot know the whole.

    So we might see life as a force in the cosmos as is the building of stars and being connected this cosmic intelligence is part of the building of stars but it does not build the stars. It is present in the stars and the essence of stars in this intelligence.

    If this conflicts with skydaddy worship it need not. A mystic skydaddy student leaves doctrine and gives himself over to the humility of not knowing at some point. I have no clue and no amount of book smarts is any better from any human. This is in a place humans cannot go and it is called the sacred. It is sacred for a reason.

  16. rockman on Fri, 19th May 2017 8:09 am 

    “…but TaaS will be a great contributor to demand destruction of oil.” Of course it will. Just as the boom in EV’s and ride sharing they pointed out really cut into demand. Just as we saw recently with the world consuming more oil the ever before in history. LOL.

    Same problem with so many “desk top solutions”: no realist cost estimate of putting such a system together AND identifying who will pay for it. And more import: why would they invest 100’s of billions and the charge such cheap rates. First, why would we should expect self-driving ubers to charges less the ubers today? And if uber can do the job why aren’t we seeing folks using it all the time? Easy answer: to expensive to use as a 100% replacement. Thus the critical factor they don’t get into: how much personal motor travel will have to be abandoned if Taas has any hope of making an impact.

  17. Dennis Coyne on Fri, 19th May 2017 10:06 am 

    Hi Rockman,

    The price of oil will increase over the next 10 years and the price of EVs and AVs (autonomous vehicles) will decrease. The growth in oil demand has been about 1.3% per year while World real GDP has grown at about 2.5% per year lately, we may see growth in petroleum liquids demand gradually slow to zero as prices increase.

    Once this occurs the level demand for EVs may reach a point where demand falls faster than oil supply and oil prices may decrease, but by that time people will realize that EVs are better and the low oil prices may just reduce supply without much increase in demand.

    I disagree with Seba’s estimate of the timing, this might happen over 20 years from 2020 to 2040. A World Depression in 2030 due to difficulty with such a transition may slow down the process, but by 2050 there may be very little oil demand (say 50 Mb/d of petroleum liquids). From there it will decline by 10% per year or more as ICEV become as common as the horse and buggy today.

  18. Jan on Fri, 19th May 2017 11:21 am 

    Dennis Coyne

    Do you know how much an autonomous vehicle would cost you?

    At the moment most people cannot even afford an electric vehicle a VW electric is £24,000 for the basic model. The equivalent petrol car is £9,000. The £15,000 difference is all the bills and food for 5 years.

    As for mass market autonomous cars, you will see as many on the road in 2040 as you see electric cars today. I.E. about 1-2%

  19. Apneaman on Fri, 19th May 2017 12:20 pm 

    ICE or electric it’s laughable to hear the eternal happy motoring projections and especially from America whose infrastructure has and still is being neglected and will barely function in 20 30 years of more of the same. On top of it there are the ever growing AGW jacked shit kickings the infrastructure is taking and they are going to get even more brutal. Gonna break the bank. All the oil in the world don’t make one damn bit of difference if the infrastructure is not maintained. BTW, how many ‘rebuild the infrastructure’ jobs has president shit stain created so far? Seems to me he is mostly interested in creating more MIC jobs. No money to rebuild the infrastructure, but plenty to “rebuild” the military that currently out spends the next 13 militaries combined.

    Road Infrastructure | ASCE’s 2017 Infrastructure Report Card

    “The U.S. has been underfunding its highway system for years, resulting in a $836 billion backlog of highway and bridge capital needs. The bulk of the backlog ($420 billion) is in repairing existing highways, while $123 billion is needed for bridge repair, $167 billion for system expansion, and $126 for system enhancement (which includes safety enhancements, operational improvements, and environmental projects). The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway, and bridge improvements returns $5.20 in the form of lower vehicle maintenance costs, decreased delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, lower road and bridge maintenance costs, and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.”

    America’s Engineers Say Our Bridges and Highways Are in Big Trouble

    “America will fall $1.44 trillion short of what it needs to spend on infrastructure through the next decade, a gap that could strip 2.5 million jobs and $4 trillion of gross domestic product from the economy, a report showed on Tuesday.

    The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimates that through 2025, the United States has funded only about 56% of its needed infrastructure spending.

    The nation needs to spend $3.32 trillion to keep its ports, highways, bridges, trains, water and electric facilities up to date but has funded only $1.88 trillion of that, ASCE said. The shortfall rises to $5.18 trillion through 2040 without new funding commitments.”

    Infrastructure Threatened by Climate Change Poses a National Crisis

    Whether it’s water or communication systems, infrastructure is ill prepared to keep functioning under changing climate conditions

    Starting with Reagan – No New Taxes. How’s that working for ya?

  20. Dennis Coyne on Fri, 19th May 2017 1:11 pm 

    Hi Jan,

    Read the report. what is expected is that car ownership will decrease and AVs will be owned by transportation service companies. It will start in big cities and quickly expand to suburbs and smaller cities.

    It will be much cheaper to pay for the service rather than own a car.

    The executive summary is only a few pages.

    As I said I do not think by 2030 90% of passenger miles will be in an AV, but by 2040, or perhaps 2050 maybe.

    The 35k Tesla Model 3 will have self driving capability, the authors expect that when AV cars become legal (which they expect by 2021) that the market will quickly move to TaaS (Transportation as a Service).

  21. rockman on Fri, 19th May 2017 11:21 pm 

    Howdy Dennis. Yes: one can make any estimate of the extent and timing of the world moving away from private vehicle ownership. And can do so because there is no trend line established yet. You’re as free to make your estimate just as Jan can offer a much more pessimistic outlook for the same reason: neither of you can offer any specific proof for either expectation.

    Personally I wouldn’t offer a number, date or any other expectations as long as the number of new privately owned ICE’s sold is still almost 100X as great as EV’s sold (as was the case in 2016) and not a single self-driving car service is available to the public today.

    Now when 25% of the new vehicles sold are self driving EV’s we might see some trend lines that might be extrapolated into the future. That might happen in 10 years…20 years…40 years…maybe never. But until then I wouldn’t classify any such prediction as even pure speculation. More in the category of wishful thinking. LOL.

  22. rockman on Fri, 19th May 2017 11:25 pm 

    Or to dredge up an old witticism I haven’t used in years: “The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong. But that’s how the f*ck you bet.” LOL.

  23. Jan on Sat, 20th May 2017 2:42 am 

    Hi Dennis

    As Rockman says, any predictions at the moment cannot be substantiated with hard facts. If you look at mobile phones.

    One could clearly see that as the phones got better and cheaper and the networks spread around the country more and more people could afford to buy them.
    The trend with electric vehicles is far weaker, there is no tipping point in sight, where for instance I would buy an electric because it is only £1,000 or £2,000 more than the petrol equivalent. They are still over double the price, with very poor range.
    As for Autonomous driving vehicles, they still fail to “see” other cars in bad driving conditions and sometimes in very good conditions.
    I said some years ago, peak oil would occur between 2018 and 2025.
    Electric vehicles will still be far too expensive for the majority who will struggle to pay for £10 per gallon petrol let alone a £20,000 car.

  24. Davy on Sat, 20th May 2017 5:51 am 

    Can we see the fallacy of thinking 90% of passenger cars could be substituted by AV, EV and ALTs? Do we really think with everything that is going on at multiple levels we can reliably project out to 2040 or 2050 with such an unproven tech? With AV, EV, and ALTS you have to project out that far for a transition because it is not a critical mass now not even close. Can we assume the economy will be healthy and humming? Can we assume we will not destroy ourselves in war by then?

    I find those who do this projecting as just more of the habituated status quolings. Things are disturbed now but still functioning. We are peak everything but in turbulence and still feeling affluent. Our foundation is hollow and our economic activity is significantly mal-investment and bubbles but still potent and impressive. This AV tech is just more techno stuff we use to keep the false optimism rolling. It offers nothing revolutionary and makes little difference.

    What we need is a revolution in behavior that yields wisdom to face the uncertain times ahead. A real wisdom that includes doing less and saying no. If we were to use a real wisdom that acknowledges what I described above there would be little interest in AV’s. They are irrelevant. What we need is localism not people driving. If we have driving it needs to be for vital needs not discretionary wants that in no way reflect on a reality of destructive change ahead. A destructive change that increasingly looks catastrophic. AV’s have no place in this equation of survival.

    Society will continue to grow and expand like a malignant cancer utilizing any new technology that may look more efficient and yield less expense. We will do this without a worry over sustainability and resiliency. Sustainability and resiliency is not about efficiency and lower “undefined” cost and high discretionary satisfaction. It is about survival. The basis of survival is not governed by these modern trends. The basis is ancient and we are discarding it daily. We want more Disney Worlds instead of a shelter form disaster. We must turn away from these fades that are so destructive and focus on the risks ahead.

    This will not happen by a collective wisdom because society’s narrative is not risk based. Society is only risk based in the markets and the markets are growth based. Instead our risk will be a new kind that is decline and decay based. Dysfunction and destructive change will overwhelm growth and optimism. Abandonment and the irrational will result with vital networks and social connections. As this destructive change happens we are going to find we are unprepared and startled by something many are going to say was a surprise.

    The reality is this is civilizational shift is obvious. The science and the discussions are here but ignored or suppressed. Since society is not going to entertain discussions of a failure of global civilization the best we can do is attack it from the grass roots. Grass roots of the enlightened and awakened. This is not going to make an impact on a failing civilization because of scale and fate. The scale of the change is beyond the grass roots and appears beyond cooperative effort of nations. We passed the point of no return years ago for cooperative global effort. Now the best we can do at the global level is try not to commit global suicide in war. What is left of honest science is telling us this. We are fated to a necessary decline and failure per a natural process governed by the nature of an earth system.

    The important aspect of the grass roots is truth and meaning. Somewhere among this surreal world of unreality in a collective neurosis of useless and destructive behavior the enlightened and awakened can offer meaning. Meaning is found in the truth. The truth is a higher power. All humans have some kind of need for a higher power. That is the best it gets now in a human world set to self-destruct without the redemption of new existential pastures. AV type stuff is not going to save us. What will save us is within but nothing will save our species from decline or worse at this point. The humility and acknowledgment of a planetary catch 22 is needed somewhere among our 7.4BIL. The only way to transcend this existential catch 22 is spiritually and there are no blue prints for true spirituality. That involves letting go and accepting fate.

  25. Cloggie on Sat, 20th May 2017 7:07 am 

    Can we see the fallacy of thinking 90% of passenger cars could be substituted by AV, EV and ALTs?

    We had a discussion the other day about a “spiral of death” of the world’s car companies, after 2030.

    Private car ownership will largely disappear and self-driving cars (driverless tacxis) will become part of public transport system.

    Society will continue to grow and expand like a malignant cancer utilizing any new technology that may look more efficient and yield less expense. We will do this without a worry over sustainability and resiliency

    That is too pessimistic. In Europe there is a general public awareness about the situation and a political will to do something about it (“fossil free by 2050”) and as always, China is willing to follow the example of the West/Europe.

    On a US federal level, folks are still preoccupied with empire and global conquest, but on a popular level, awareness is not that far behind Europe.

    In other words, in the three major economic blocks Europe, China and US, large parts of the population understand the problem, which is a necessary preconditions for change. For them a “solar green economy” is not a New Age hobby that can be ignored.

    Due to inertia a lot of additional environmental damage will be done between now and the turning point, later this century. But it is too early to write off human civilization completely.

  26. tita on Sat, 20th May 2017 7:17 am 

    Autonomous driving doesn’t exist currently. The date when it will be available is pure speculation.

    Taas exist widely today. Either by public transport or all kind of taxi transportation system. There is even a lot of car sharing systems. They are actually not really changing the traditionnal model of car ownership. Uber created some new market, but mostly takes market shares to others.

    This article is just some wild ass guess about the future of transportation. There is no evidence that this guess will be true or false.

  27. Davy on Sat, 20th May 2017 7:38 am 

    Complete rubbish of fake greenism based on more of the same of techno optimism without addressing planetary decline and population overshoot. We are shifting gears into more development not less. No effort is being made with population. The major economic blocks are engaged in extend and pretend of the unsustainable and with increasing moral hazards of polices that are nothing more than Ponzi schemes. The major economic blocks, as the global economy goes dysfunctional, are beginning to turn on each other with damaging nationalism with the inconvenient situation of being too far integrated to decouple. The populations likewise think we can turn back globalism without consequences, no wonder the sheeple is so neurotic. It is too late for a return to a rolling back of globalism into a return to nationalism without extreme pain from thresholds already being breached. All nations are in decline in their own particular type in a collective decline of the connectedness of globalism.

    What are we doing? We are going all in on more of the same and telling ourselves we have solutions. These false solutions allow us to discount the predicaments as problems. Problems have solutions but predicaments do not. In fact when one attacks predicaments as problems worse happens because bad decisions lead to worse limits and deeper diminishing returns. We are going down the rabbit hole of unreality quicker instead of trying to make for some kind of life on the precipice like spindly trees growing very near the tree line. We could eek out some life instead maybe no life by different approach to this existential catch 22.

    We as a global world will follow this fake green techno optimism into the ground like flight 93 into the ground fighting back but doomed. The traditional 20th century industrialism will likewise remain even though most would like to leave it. We want to leave it but can’t because we are stuck with it. We want to leave it because the fake green world sound so happy. You know what could be happier than clean and green with a smiling happy family well dressed in sunshine near a beach or something. WTF. What is really ahead is the squalor of decaying slums. Look at wht is happening in places like Venezuela and that is where we are heading not a solar green economy we see in some fake news magazine.

  28. Cloggie on Sat, 20th May 2017 7:41 am 

    Autonomous driving doesn’t exist currently. The date when it will be available is pure speculation.

    It is not accepted yet by government regulation yet, but successful experiments are conducted everywhere, both with private cars and trucks. Several governments (Netherlands, UK and other) have publicly stated they want to be first in realizing the goal.

    The additional vehicle costs are marginal:

    You can have a cruise control built in for an all in price of 495,- euro including installation. If it is built in in the factory it will only be a fraction of that amount. And that’s the gas pedal. Steer, same story. That’s another 300 euro. An E-vehicle doesn’t have a gear, huge cost advantage. Add another 1000 euro for sensors and a software copy and you have your self-driving car, for a few thousand extra cost (minus cheaper motor and no gear box plus additional batteries).

  29. kanon on Sat, 20th May 2017 8:01 am 

    This article completely misses the rivalry aspect of transportation. Bicycles are the most efficient and cost effective technology, but they are subject to being run over by cars. In fact, most other forms of transportation is run over or jammed by cars. These cars are driven by people who often have a tribal mentality that does not tolerate competition, hence the attitude that the solution to cycling is bigger bumpers. Add an entire political/resource control structure and one can easily see that price, convenience, efficiency, etc. are actually secondary factors in transportation.

  30. rockman on Sat, 20th May 2017 8:05 am 

    Cloggie – “In Europe there is a general public awareness about the situation and a political will to do something about it (“fossil free by 2050”) and as always”. And despite such “awareness” personal car ownership per capita is much higher in most European countries then even the USA. From

    “The U.S. is ranked 25th in world by number of passenger cars per person, just above Ireland and just below Bahrain. There are 439 cars here for every thousand Americans, meaning a little more than two people for every car. That number is higher in nearly all of Western Europe — the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, etc. — as well as in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. It’s higher in crisis-wracked Iceland and Greece. Italians and New Zealanders have nearly 50 percent more cars per capita than does the U.S.”

  31. Cloggie on Sat, 20th May 2017 8:29 am 

    And despite such “awareness” personal car ownership per capita is much higher in most European countries then even the USA.

    Give me the figures of car ownership of European Americans. I would guess that they are meanwhile comparable to those in Europe. But it is true, in economic sense, Europeans have caught up with (European) Americans.

    But your point of course is “environmental awareness”. Folks like Davy and Greg are very environmental aware… but still drive cars. Me too and so do probably you as well, Rockman.

    But doing away with cars is no option. Not yet. Realistic options for the future are E-vehicles, privately or publicly owned. And postponing car ownership when you are young.

    You are of course a little irritated by referring to these “environmental conscious Europeans”, while at the same time they have more cars per capita.

    My point is that they support drastic measures:

    Majority Dutch wants government to forbid diesel and petrol cars by 2025, something the Dutch government has already proposed. Several other European countries want that too. There are not yet similar proposal in the US as far as I know (perhaps in California).

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