Soaring oil prices caused four out of the last five recessions. They caused the current recession. And they will cause the next one.
Expensive oil costs us more than just money. It costs jobs, homes and in the long run it is going to radically alter the way we live. For if cheap oil is the fuel that keeps the machinery of globalisation in motion, then expensive oil has the same effect as pouring diesel into an unleaded tank. Everything stalls; the engine fails. Oil prices will rise again in the coming years, as this utterly convincing insight into our collective future argues. And as oil prices fluctuate wildly, our society will change dramatically, and for good. From the homes we live in and the cars we drive to the food we eat and the places we work, our daily lives and global economy are going to be transformed. But while this new, smaller world will take some getting used to, it will also open our eyes to a more localised and ultimately more liveable way of life.