Der Spiegel has confirmed that a leaked German military report on the consequences of declining oil production is authentic. The study found that peak oil -- the point at which global production reaches its apex and declines henceforth -- could have dramatic negative repercussions for, well, modern civilization.
Global oil consumption has been outpacing new finds for quite some time, and we know that we can deplete the oil resources of particular regions. For example, U.S. oil production peaked decades ago; the best month of oil production in this country came in October 1970.
Put those facts together and it's not hard to see why most energy experts agree that oil production will enter a permanent decline soon, if it hasn't already. Where differences arise is about what exactly peak oil will mean and what alternatives to petroleum power may become available. The German report spelled out one of the negative scenarios quite clearly:
The German military study, which was analyzed and partly translated into English by Der Spiegel, declares that once peak oil begins in earnest, economies around the globe -- including Germany's -- will probably struggle with price shocks as a result of higher transportation costs, and "shortages of vital goods could arise."
"In the medium term the global economic system and every market-oriented national economy would collapse," the study continues.
Read the full story at New York Times.