What makes this interesting is the fact that the current production reserves are a few million barrels a day, largely from Saudi Arabia. That crude is mostly heavy/sour and not usable by many refineries in the US - or the rest of the world for that matter. If this trend continues for a few more years, oil would be *really* expensive. But few trends are linear.
For those who are really serious about minimizing car use ... bike trailers (via treehugger)
Any sort of hill might kill a normal person, but for flat areas and/or electric assisted bikes (human/electric hybrids:-), this sort of thing may be just the ticket.
Four dollar gasoline hasn't made a huge change in human powered store trips around here. We live in a densely populated community that has about 1000 families within two miles of a food store. One sees very little human powered shopping. Over the weekend I saw a few people trying - clearly out of shape and not knowing how to pack groceries. People tend to give Sukie strange looks when they see her with her $50 pushcart that allows her to move large amounts of groceries easily.
I walk a lot and tend to destroy shoes (about 1000 miles to a pair) and sometimes my feet when the shoes don't fit well. My feet are an unusual size that gives very little choice, so there is a lot of compromise. Fnding good advice is hard.
Someone recommended the Dr Jenny Sanders Shoe Blog. A quick read suggests there is a lot of advice and it is probably worth reading.
Several people have pointed out a forecast (pdf) by Jeff Rubin of the brokerage CIBC. I have no idea if this is considered serious work and it seems likely a broad spectrum of predictions exist.
Rising oil prices will certainly be devastating to those with lower incomes, but they won't flock to the bus as public transit is rare in the US and almost non-existent in poorer regions of the country. The report does note that Europeans have spent decades building infrastructure and laying out cities and towns with an eye to high energy prices - there is going to be little flexibility in the US.
The future has a way of surprising us, but I have a hard time believing we will see lower oil prices unless there is a huge economic downturn here and/or in places like China and India. We could try conserving, but there is little indication that anything beyond modest amounts are taking place.
If oil does keep increasing, the perception of pain is likely to be non-linear and it makes sense to unload things like powerboats and SUVs now while the prices are relatively high. They may be worth about as much as the fuel in them in a few years.
So would this be good or bad for global warming? A case can probably be made either way. It hinges on how much coal will be used. It takes time to build plants - especially coal to liquid fuel - so there may be a period where less carbon dioxide is released followed by an increase if we are really stupid. Time will tell.