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Henry N. Butler and Jonathan Klick
Mamdouh G. Salameh
A few experts have been projecting the advent of the post-oil era within the next fifty years. They are saying that widespread electric vehicle (EV) use could spell the end of oil. The underlying assumption is that alternatives to oil would have been fully and cheaply developed by then thus ushering the post-oil era. Hardly a day goes by without another media report about the impending demise of the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) as petroleum-powered cars and trucks are replaced by super-clean EVs. There is no doubt that global energy’s future is in renewables. Solar power along with other alternative energy sources will ultimately provide all the electricity we need, will power water desalination plants and will drive our transport. This chapter will argue that there could never be a post-oil era throughout the 21st century and far beyond because it is very doubtful that an alternative as versatile and practicable as oil, particularly in transport, could totally replace oil in the next 100 years and beyond. It will also argue that oil will continue to be used extensively in the global petrochemical industry and other industries and outlets from pharmaceuticals to plastics, aviation and computers to agriculture and also in transport. The chapter will conclude that oil will continue to reign supreme throughout the 21st century and far beyond.
This chapter explores human behaviour, taking into account what we have learned from behavioural research of the last 30 years, and so presents a framework for considering our behaviour in relation to economic and social policy that is rather different from the Enlightenment model upon which much economic and social policymaking is based. It presents us as being flawed individuals across a range of dimensions, and argues that these flaws much be taken into account in policymaking.