More on the "no substitutes" bit.
So let's imagine for a second that oil production starts falling off a cliff next Wednesday.
The typical gleeful response of the dieoff crowd would be: "there are no substitutes to oil" and thus the transportation network will collapse and then the lights will go off etc etc and WE WILL ALL DIE.
The Hirsch Report, which is a little more reasonable than the sackcloth and ashes crowd over at dieoff.org, says "if we do not mitigate there will be a liquid fuels shortage especially in transportation after we peak".
Unfortunately for this premise, however, is one little fact: We have an ENORMOUS GLUT of shale gas and gas is a good substitute for oil, especially in transportation.
Estimates are that shale gas reserves are up to five times the "conventional" reserve which did in fact peak and start declining in North America about 8 years ago and now Europe.
Now what about those pesky substitutes? Can we run our transportation fleet off of natural gas? Is there infrastructure in place to do so? Will all our delivery vehicles stop running because we're "out of oil" since the party is over?
Well seems to me that the local gas utility runs their maintenance fleet of vans and trucks off of Nat Gas. Also seems to me that every second gas station is ALREADY SELLING Nat Gas.
I've also seen a ton of taxi cabs running off of natural gas.
So how much does it cost, exactly, to convert your car to run on natural gas?
All of about four grand.
Now I personally like electric transportation and conservation as the long term solution to peak oil induced transportation bottlenecks, but you can hardly argue with a massive glut of natural gas and such low conversion costs.
Oh yeah. There's also gas to liquids. Such as gas to aviation fuel. I wonder if now is a good time to buy airline stocks.
Now where does that leave us?
Well if we try to peak into the crystal ball of "life after depletion" it seems that we have at least three sustitutes with which to mitigate so while the steepness of the conventional curve cannot be flattened, we can substitute out the end-uses.
Conservation "take the damn bus".
Electrification "take the damn electric bus" and "look at me go fast in my new Tesla".
Conversions to run your car on nat gas "Oh look, it's only a buck twenty for a gallon of nat gas".
Gas-To-Liquids "Kunstler says we can't run the interstate truck fleet without diesel. Maybe not, but there's no reason we can't run our interstate fleet on gasoline trucks converted to nat-gas".
So yet another dieoff myth debunked. Not only do we have substitutes, but they are relatively cheap compared to the other substitutes like electric vehicles which currently carry a price premium.
Doom? Maybe, but if so, not yet and not because of peak oil.
For more on the natural gas glut see http://ghawarguzzler.blogspot.com/