Oil prices briefly touched $100 per barrel in the first week of 2008. This price was estimated by forecasters in the middle of 2007. But if we really think about it, oil prices could easily have been double if governments had ignored new products, new energy sources.
The first savior was the 1973 oil shocks that had prices rushing through the roof in matter of days, at the least the $100 was predicted for a long time, in 1973 it was a real shock. After this shock societies looked at their knowledge base and decided to diversify their energy source consumption, no more was this more evident than in
The shock of the 1973 oil crises also led countries to demand more fuel efficient automobiles. This led to the rise of Japanese motor vehicle companies especially
Because of the 1973 oil shock, the world looked into technology for other sources of renewable energy, thus research into wind, solar, tidal power and other sources of renewable energy took pace at a faster rate, wind turbines are now for more efficient than they where a decade ago let alone 1973, solar panels have become more efficient, great strides have been taken into geothermal power generation, how much urgency would have been put into this research if it where not for the shocks of 1973, not too much. Gradual increase in prices allows people to psychologically get used to the changes, they adapt, a shock however spurs people into action.
Energy diversification has led to some old industries surviving, like the coal mining industry. However without coal energy prices would have sky rocketed at a faster pace, diversification is important. However with the environmental concerns even coal powered power plants have had to adapt to these concerns and they have become more efficient and much cleaner than they where three decades ago.
Look at the buildings, today’s architectural wonders are more energy efficient as well as good for the eye to look at. Some
Housing appliances have become not only more sophisticated but more energy efficient, the lights, the washing machines, fridges, computers, televisions, all are more energy efficient. This is all in a desire to give more for the buck and save money on energy prices.
The shocks spurred societies to be innovative, the long term property of knowledge is that it grows exponentially, once investigation into alternative energy was spurred on, the global knowledge base of these energy systems grew allowing for more efficiency to be reproduced each time thanks to research.
On the sad side, not taking knowledge seriously and playing strange games
As explained above, humans psychologically can adapt to gradual increases in prices, there really is no real anger at oil prices hitting $100/ barrel, why, because societies could accept the gradual creeping higher prices, however a shock spurs innovation, without 1973, oil prices could be much higher.