Well right off the bat it does not mean that it's the end of the world like so many people want you to believe, it does not mean that we are suddenly going to be spun into a world of darkness and gloom like we see in so many movies about the world being so dark and bleak in a post oil world. It also does not mean that we are completely running out of oil either. What it really means is that we are simply running out of cheap oil. Not very good timing though, this peak oil thing. Just starts happening when it turns out that countries like China, India and Brazil all of a sudden want to jump in and raise their oil consumption so they can compete with America, Europe and Japan.
In reality though, true peak oil is all about economy and politics more than it's about geology. It's not just about the price you painfully pay at the pump but it also includes the stuff that is made possible to produce because of oil like that bread you eat made from the wheat that is grown on factory farms to that DVD that was imported from none other than China. Peak oil added to some climate changes could change or end the way we are use to shopping, that's for sure.
So who doesn't believe in peak oil? Many, but especially nearly all the big companies that make baseball shoes to those smart phones you tucked away in your desk. They think that there is plenty of cheap oil to be had for decades to come. Otherwise why do you think they would keep moving all of their factories way over to China and so far away from their biggest markets of Europe and America? They obviously can't believe there is any peak oil situation going on.
Why is oil so important? Mainly because the politicians have made it so. Just about every speech by every politician seems to have to have something in it noting something about oil and it being the lifeblood or our economy.
We find it in chemicals, prescription drugs, plastics, IV bags, iPods, you name it, there is a product that has oil in for one reason or another. And why? To keep us believing that we are that severely dependent upon this fossil fuel. Just remember though even going for tar sands to the oil under our oceans is going to produce oil, but it's oil that will be dirtier and harder to clean up which of course will make it a for more expensive oil and a lower quality and we will continue to be trained to believe there is no other way to produce items we use each day.
It will take years for people to understand that the dependence on oil has caused a society that has forgotten how to survive off of the Earth and the many other things she produces for us other than the oil that we all have become addicted to.