What do subprime mortgages, Atlantic salmon dinners, SUVs and globalization all have in common? They depend on cheap oil.
According to Jeff Rubin, we are poised on the brink of massive change. Dependent as it is on cheap oil, our global civilization is about to get the shock of its life.
Systems of trade, of finance, of shipping and manufacturing, of labor and international relations are all about to be rearranged. Get ready for a new world -- one in which domestic manufacturing will be reinvigorated and the products and services we still enjoy will start coming from places much closer to home. There will be winners as well as losers when the age of globalization comes to an end. Distance will soon cost money, and so will burning carbon -- both will bring long-lost jobs back home.
We may not see the kind of economic growth that globalization has brought, but local economies will be revitalized, as will our cities and neighbourhoods. Whether we like it or not, our world is about to get a whole lot smaller.
Jeff Rubin was Chief Economist at CIBC World Markets for almost twenty years. He was one of the first economists to accurately predict soaring oil prices back in 2000 and is now one of the world's most sought-after energy experts. Rubin published Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization in 2009.
Economist Jeff Rubin says that triple-digit oil prices will affect more than consumer behavior at the pump in the coming years. Rubin predicts that the rising price of oil will spell the end of the globalization boom that cheap oil has fueled over the past few decades.
Process by which the experience of everyday life, marked by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, is becoming standardized around the world. Factors that have contributed to globalization include increasingly sophisticated communications and transportation technologies and services, mass migration and the movement of peoples, a level of economic activity that has outgrown national markets through industrial combinations and commercial groupings that cross national frontiers, and international agreements that reduce the cost of doing business in foreign countries. Globalization offers huge potential profits to companies and nations but has been complicated by widely differing expectations, standards of living, cultures and values, and legal systems as well as unexpected global cause-and-effect linkages. See alsofree trade.
Complex mixture of hydrocarbons derived from the geologic transformation and decomposition of plants and animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. As a technical term, petroleum encompasses the liquid (crude oil), gaseous (natural gas), and viscous or solid (bitumen, asphalt) forms of hydrocarbons that occur in the Earth, but the meaning is often restricted to the liquid oil form. Crude oil and natural gas are the most important primary fossil fuels. Asphalt has been used since ancient times to caulk ships and pave roads. In the mid 1800s petroleum began to replace whale oil in lamps, and the first well specifically to extract it was drilled in 1859. The development of the automobile gave petroleum a new role as the source of gasoline. Petroleum and its products have since been used as fuels for heating, for land, air, and sea transport, and for electric power generation and as petrochemical sources and lubricants. Crude oil and natural gas, produced mostly in Saudi Arabia, the U.S., and Russia, now account for about 60% of world energy consumption; the U.S. is by far the largest consumer. At present rates of consumption, the known supply will be exhausted by the mid 21st century. Petroleum is recovered from drilled wells, transported by pipeline or tanker ship to refineries, and there converted to fuels and petrochemicals.