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When Automobiles Ruled the Earth

Consumption

Read Part One

U.S. oil major Chevron Corp. on Jan. 29 swung to an $11 million fourth-quarter loss and missed Wall Street expectations as low margins on fuel, acquisition costs and foreign currency effects overwhelmed improved drilling results… It reported a full-year loss of $5.54 billion compared with earnings of $2.92 billion in 2019…

— article on NASDAQ.com, January 29, 2020

We touched on two concepts earlier in this editorial series: “Peak Oil” and “Peak Demand”. The idea of “Peak Oil” — essentially, the idea that oil is a limited, non-renewable resource, and that humankind will eventually run out — has been around seemingly forever. From the July 19, 1909 Titusville Herald (Titusville, PA, in what was once the epicenter of US oil production):

Petroleum has been used for less than 50 years, and it is estimated that the supply will last about 25 or 30 years longer. If production is curtailed and waste stopped it may last till the end of the century… This being the case, the reckless exploitation of oil fields and the consumption of oil for fuel should be checked.

The concept of “Peak Demand”, meanwhile, has more recently come to the fore — the idea that humankind will cut back on the demand for oil long before it runs out.

On August 31, Exxon Mobil, once the largest publicly traded company in the world, was dropped from the Dow Jones industrial average after serving as a noble indicator of our nation’s financial health since 1928.

Until last summer, Exxon Mobil was the longest-serving member of the Dow’s 30-company index… except that they were called ‘Standard Oil’ back when they first joined the team. In the 1980s, energy companies comprised about a quarter of the index. With Exxon getting kicked down the stairs, one lone energy company remains, accounting for just 2% of the weighed index: Chevron. Folks who’ve been monitoring the situation, like for example the Washington Post, have pointed out that five major tech companies — Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft — are each worth more than the top 76 energy companies put together.

Things were getting desperate for American oil companies even 10 years ago, but the COVID pandemic was a dumpster fire. People stayed home, even worked from home. Business managers stopped flying in airplanes to big conventions in Las Vegas. Entertainment went online.

The oil companies could have seen this coming. Since 2015, over 200 oil and gas companies in North America have filed for bankruptcy. Twenty oil and gas companies defaulted on their debts in 2019 — before COVID was even a word — and 18 have already done so this year. Exxon Mobil reportedly faces a deficit of $48 billion this year. Things don’t look good.

Stanford economist Tony Seba has some interesting ideas about the future of transportation in the US. Among Professor Seba’s controversial ideas, we find the prediction that “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 fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call ‘transport-as-a-service’ (TaaS)…

That quote comes from a 2017 analysis by James Arbib & Tony Seba entitled, Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030:The Disruption of Transportation and the Collapse of the Internal-Combustion Vehicle and Oil Industries. Here’s another quote from the same document:

“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…”

You can view a summary of his predictions in this PDF.

We briefly discussed the idea of “Peak Oil” yesterday in Part Five — the theoretical point in time when the world has extracted, and used up, half of its recoverable petroleum supplies. But Professor Seba is focused on a different idea — that the customer demand for oil, not its availability, has now become the driving factor for the survival of the oil and gas industry. The professor made a daring prediction four years ago, that “oil demand” would hit its peak of 100 million barrels per day by 2020.

Reportedly, the global demand for oil in 2019 hit 101 barrels per day. The demand in 2020 was 9% lower: 92 million barrels per day.

Will Professor Seba’s prediction about automobile transportation pan out as well? That our cars will drive themselves, and most of us will no longer own a car?

If Professor Seba is on target, the number of passenger vehicles on American roads will drop from 247 million in 2020 to 44 million in 2030.

As “Transport as a Service” (TaaS) develops, using TaaS will be four to 10 times cheaper per mile than buying a new car, and two to four times cheaper than operating an existing paid-off vehicle, by 2021.

The cost of TaaS will be driven down by several factors, says the professor, including utilization rates that are 10 times higher; electric vehicle lifetimes exceeding 500,000 miles; and far lower maintenance, energy, finance and insurance costs. The average American household will save $5,600 per year by giving up its gas-powered car and traveling by autonomous, electric TaaS vehicles.

If Tony Seba is correct, the Texas and Alberta economies just took a metaphorical bullet to the head. Other possible victims? Auto dealerships, global automaker supply chains, insurance companies. Automakers like General Motors and Ford Co. will either become low-margin, high-volume assemblers of A-EVs or transition to becoming themselves TaaS providers. (Did we note that GM has already invested $500 million in ride-sharing company Lyft?)

What would any of this mean to sleepy, little Pagosa Springs?

Read Part Seven, tomorrow…



18 Comments on "When Automobiles Ruled the Earth"

  1. Cloggie on Wed, 3rd Feb 2021 1:52 am 

    This Bill Hudson guy gets it!

    Stanford economist Tony Seba has some interesting ideas about the future of transportation in the US. Among Professor Seba’s controversial ideas, we find the prediction that “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 fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call ‘transport-as-a-service’ (TaaS)…

    If Professor Seba is on target, the number of passenger vehicles on American roads will drop from 247 million in 2020 to 44 million in 2030.

    Probably, prof. Seba has read this British report from 2016-2017:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/by-2030-you-wont-own-a-car/

    “By 2030 You Won’t Own a Car”

    Note, this was written before 2020-Covid-19, that greatly enabled the TAAS scenario to come true. People are now programmed to do their work from a virtual office, like from home. All it takes is an internet connection. This diminished the need to own an expensive car.

    Expect this year in Germany and elsewhere for autonomous shuttle services, driving up and down fixed Autobahn stretches, and take the country by storm… killing the global car and oil industries while they are at it, providing the “under classes” with cheap transport, without having to own an automobile, so they can continue to do what they do best: staring at a screen while they are travelling.

    https://www.automotiveit.eu/mobility/autonomes-fahren-in-deutschland-ende-der-ausreden-112.html

    The number of cars in car-crazy America can be reduced by a factor of 6. In the poorer parts of the world by a factor of 20. We don’t need 1 billion cars, 60 million 8p vans suffice. For anything below 10 km you can use an e-bike.

    The immense advantage is much cleaner air and car-free cities.

    https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/himalayas-visible-lockdown-india-scli-intl/index.html

    “People in India can see the Himalayas for the first time in ‘decades,’ as the lockdown eases air pollution”

  2. Zeke Putnam on Wed, 3rd Feb 2021 10:01 am 

    Schemes, dreams and predictions. Not much mention or knowledge about human behavior re the consequences of all this rapid change.

  3. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 3rd Feb 2021 11:02 am 

    The Oligarchy Knows Class Warfare Is the Real Fight—Why Don’t Liberals?

    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/chris-hedges/95124/the-oligarchy-knows-class-warfare-is-the-real-fight-why-dont-liberals

  4. YouDeserveItDumpFuckers on Wed, 3rd Feb 2021 11:39 am 

    Canada Designates Proud Boys A Terrorist Group
    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/canada-designates-proud-boys-terrorist-group

    Is Canada doing it on purpose to upset me. Because it is working. Keep sucking up to the negro and trashing Whites people Canada and see how long you have gasoline at the pump fuckers.

  5. UpsetMeMoreFuckers on Wed, 3rd Feb 2021 12:14 pm 

    I challenged you fuckers to upset me more. I dare you to do it. GO fuckers do it.

  6. SubmitToMeOrWeAllDie on Wed, 3rd Feb 2021 12:21 pm 

    You are going to submit to me, or we all die. Fed up with you stupid piece of shit, useless, garbage politicians

  7. makati1 on Wed, 3rd Feb 2021 2:43 pm 

    Cars never ruled the earth. They did, and still do, rule Amerika. You cannot exist in Amerika without a car unless you live in the city and never leave. Cut off gasoline/diesel and most Amerikans would die. What does that tell you about the power of the elites? A system they totally control. Especially in Amerika. And most other countries that rely on gasoline.

    And no, techies, electric is still under their control. If you think you are free, you just don’t see the bars keeping you in prison. Total freedom only happens after you die.

  8. EnjoyYourOwnDeath on Wed, 3rd Feb 2021 4:00 pm 

    I have come to the realization the the only to protect the continuation of the Whites race is the crash modern civilization to the ground: no electricity, no potable water, no food. You leave no choice, enjoy dying piece of shit.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTHq-ATExdM

    The federal government is adding 13 new extremist groups, including the Proud Boys, to the Criminal Code list of terrorist entities, freezing their assets and opening up people who are affiliated with them to criminal sanctions. The move is a major step towards combatting ideologically-motivated extremist sentiment in Canada.

  9. Anonymouse on Wed, 3rd Feb 2021 5:17 pm 

    The private, oil burning motorized trash-can was NEVER viable to begin with. Massively polluting, a destroyer of both human lives AND the environut, the whole idea of the the ‘private oil burning car’, has been an unmitigated disaster for all humanity. amerikans too, even if they are too dumb to realize it. (Outside of the handful that actually do).

    Early signs of collapse are already with us for the private oil cartel and the ‘car’.
    Shrinking profit margins, or even outright losses, no matter what the price at ‘the pump’.

    The overbuilt, and poorly engineered road network, esp. in North America, will shrink, decay, or revert back to gravel, or simply disappear in places where even basic maintenance will no long be carried out, or infrequently at best, due to cost. You can already see this in amerika (and Canada), particularly with bridges. The road network needs to shrink, not expand. I dont feel particularly confident adequate resources will be allocated to what is deemed ‘essential’ either. The wealthiest regions, will be more (or less) adequately maintained for a time, but if you live outside such areas, dont expect much from your local gov’t. They just wont have the funds or resources. They will have too much on their plate to worry about roads that haven’t been resurfaced or improved in years, if not longer.

    Today there was an article on the front page about massive price hikes, but they note, no real whining about it. Why? Even the status quo papers are forced to admit that the engineered economic contraction being carried out under the cover of the Conjob-19 scamdemic, has hit demand so hard, that no one really cares they way they used to about the high price of fuel since so many jobs and business are being thrown under the (diesel) powered bus by the ‘elites’ that its kind of pointless to complain when you have no job to travel to, or there is talk bout not allowing travel at all, due to contemplated, and actual, draconian gov’t restrictions on movement.

    (Internal travel passes and point-to-point travel permits for your car up next? -well see).

    Only an imbicile still believe ‘robo-cars, flying or otherwise, are coming to ‘the rescue’ of the current infrastructure as it presently exists. Or he is a habitual liar. Or a fraud, or both.

  10. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 3rd Feb 2021 7:59 pm 

    “The main problem in any democracy is that crowdpleasers are generally brainless swine who can go out on a stage and whup their supporters into an orgiastic frenzy — then go back to the office and sell every one of the poor bastards down the tube for a nickel apiece.”
    ~ Hunter S. Thompson,

  11. makati1 on Wed, 3rd Feb 2021 9:09 pm 

    True democracy is mob rule. It never existed.

    The delusional Amerikans are brainwashed to believe they live in a ‘democracy’, but it was always a republic and is now a corporatocracy run by Big $$$ and megalomaniacs. A Fascist Police State, 3rd World, Banana Republic.

    If the serfs don’t riot and take back their freedoms, the US will make Mao’s China, or Stalin’s Russia, look like the Garden of Eden in a few years. Wait and see.

  12. makati1 on Wed, 3rd Feb 2021 9:15 pm 

    If the Congressional Whores were not millionaires when they went into politics, they will be by the time they have been paid off over the years. The Clintons and the Obamas were not millionaires when they went in but they are multi-millionaires now.

    Al Capone was a piker beside the graft and corruption in the US government. I’m glad I not longer pay any US taxes. Sigh!

  13. Biden's hairplug on Thu, 4th Feb 2021 2:14 am 

    “True democracy is mob rule. It never existed.”

    Democracy comes in varying degrees from country to country. I would consider Switzerland a fairly well-developed democracy, with regular referendums, like these in 2020 alone:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Swiss_referendums

    Anglo countries in contrast, with their “winner takes it all”-system, are hardly democratic, as it is virtually impossible to break into the system and respond to changing needs within the population. In the US you have the idiotic, sclerotic system of 2 parties, dividing the electoral loot between them for 150 years or so, have cemented their power and created a political over class that is more responsive to special interests, money (foreign and domestic) than to the commoner.

    If you define “democratic” (“people rule”), as a government that acts in the interest of the commoner, to be measured by popular enthusiasm for said government, you could even argue that the German national socialist government was more “democratic” than the US-oligarchic system.

    But I don’t consider a particular political system as crucial. There are higher values, like protecting the racial heritage of 30,000 years or more, the identitarean creed:

    https://www.amazon.fr/Histoire-tradition-Europ%C3%A9ens-000-didentit%C3%A9/dp/2268073084/ref=sr_1_1

    “Histoire et tradition des Européens : 30 000 ans d’identité”

    We are living in the last years of the Anglo-dominated West. New players are waiting in the wings to take over. For petty 19th century-style nationalism, like this Brexit atavism, is no place. This is more like it, ironically from this Dutch-British source:

    https://www.amazon.com/March-Titans-History-White-Race/dp/0620251174

    “March of the Titans: A History of the White Race”

    …written by a guy who was confronted with racial realities from his childhood, because he lived in Dutch-British South-Africa/Rhodesia.

    The upcoming downfall of the 2nd and last communist system, the far more vicious one, namely the racial one, the Anglo-Zionist one, will bring with it the downfall of the tribe that pushed for communism, in both the USSR and USA. The Huns, the Mongols and finally the Khazars, these three mid-Eurasian menaces, after each terrorizing European civilization for more than a century, will finally bite the dust. Will be a nice view, next to each other at Madame Tussaud: Attila the Hun, Djengis Khan and Leon Trotzki.

    Good riddance to them.

  14. OKFucktard on Thu, 4th Feb 2021 9:43 am 

    OK fucktard

  15. makati1 on Thu, 4th Feb 2021 3:52 pm 

    Biden’, corruption everywhere. They may seem democratic, but the elite pick who is allowed to run. Prove me wrong.

  16. makati1 on Thu, 4th Feb 2021 3:57 pm 

    Yes, Biden’s, the caucasion part of humanity is no longer in control. About time! Those of “color” will be the new leaders and rulers. I’m watching the change, and it is a good one. ^_^

  17. Biden's hairplug on Fri, 5th Feb 2021 5:35 am 

    “Poll puts Le Pen on 48% to threaten Macron for first time”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/marine-le-pen-closes-gap-with-macron-in-polls-nqdnfp7kl

    I didn’t expect Brexit and Trump either. One thing is certain, if she doesn’t win now (which is what I hope), she will win next time, as she is only 52. If the establishment doesn’t wake up from that, then they deserve to go under. I still hope that the Gaullist streak in France will win, eventually. All potential candidates for 2022 (Macron, Barnier and le Pen) are “pro-Russian”, meaning that they don’t want to be instrumentalized by Washington and let itself being set up against Moscow.

    In other news…

    Good, balanced interview by pan-European Red-Ice TV with Arthur Kemp:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrqbfLYgu4I

    He is an anti-colonialist, rejects Apartheid and instead preaches separatism.

    Exactly right. The only thing we should consider colonizing is the solar system, not in the least because of the zero risk of meeting any Muslims or Africans there, perhaps a Chinaman or two.

    For the coming years, being a white nationalist (global pan-Europeanism) means one big exercise in taking losses (Down Under, large parts of North-America), before we have bottomed-out and find an upwards trajectory again, “upwards” to be taken very literally, namely into the skies.

    Part of that upward trajectory means: completely abolishing Marxism, Christianity, Third-World-ism, Do-gooderism and reconnect to Roman values. The EU to be transformed as a reincarnation of the Roman Empire.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f3/Arno_Breker_werkend.jpg

  18. Cloggie on Fri, 5th Feb 2021 5:50 am 

    Living off-road, off-grid in a camper for $500 per month:

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/feb/04/modern-nomads-nomadland-van-life-us-public-lands

    https://www.cheaprvliving.com/

    Work for a couple of months en move and enjoy freedom for a couple of a month at minimal cost.

    The alternative for homelessness after a divorce or pink slip.

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