Sharp, Extreme Loss of Energy Resources: What If?

Very interesting post at Here’s taste and a link to more.

This is a guest post by Dr. Joerg Friedrichs, University Lecturer in Politics, University of Oxford.

In a recent article (found here (PDF) and at Science Direct), I have investigated how different societies have responded to sharp and rapid cutbacks in their energy supplies. These responses may give us some insight into what might happen as our energy supplies shrink in the future.

In the examples I looked at, I found the following results:

North Korea, 1990s: Response was totalitarian retrenchment

Cuba, 1990s: Response was mobilization of local resilience

Japan, 1940s: Response was predatory militarism

My case studies lead me to formulate the following three hypotheses, which I state upfront here to facilitate discussion. However, please note that they are actually developed from the cases.

In addition to my three cases, I also looked at the South of the United States after the Civil War, where the abolition of slavery led to sharp economic decline and a full century was needed for recovery.

The Oil Drum

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