Guess the dead horse still doesn't get to rest...
When you finally surrender your pride on the global warming front, let me know.
Peak oil is a point of no return. The global economy can only function if there is a steady and plentyful supply of oil. Peak oil means that production rate drops. It will probably drop pretty quickly since by that time, most oil will be produced from small and vulnerable oil fields and the bigger oil fields with a more stable production rate will already be well into their production decline. The disruption in the oil supply will mean that parts of the world economy will shut down - but only after a pretty steep competitive rise in oil prices which will hit the global economy. The weakest parts of the world economy will shut down first because they cannot pay the higher prices. A while later the wealthier parts of the world economy will break down too.
Do you also realize that this has a significant effect on food prices? Fertilizers are made from oil. Oil is needed for transportation of food from farms to cities. Oil is needed to run farming equipment. Oil is needed for the plastics that are used to package food. If oil prices skyrocket, then so will the price of food.
Peak oil will hit when there's still about half the world's supply of oil remaining(this isn't a wild guess, it's the statistical results from a great deal of study on historical similarities, and the realities of oil fields). It will result in a slow, gradual production decline. The major fields will not be empty, there will be no sharp decline in production. It is not a precipitous event, we just had a peak in oil production and no one even noticed.
The world oil production flat lined from 2005 to 2011, because of our wonderful little recession. Life continued unabated. World oil production is already increasing at a significantly slower rate than previous demand was, yet nothing is happening to the price. Why? Crazy fools all around the world are driving natural gas cars, electric cars, biofuel cars(these are laughable) and doing things besides driving in the first place.
There are tens of millions of people in this country who can radically change their petroleum footprint at minimal cost to themselves. Massive quantities of fertilizer are being pissed down the drain right now on these absurd ethanol programs. If you think the world is going to come to a calamity because of peak oil, you have been paying zero attention to how utterly fucked you are. We are so royally screwed by the idiots we put into office every year, that we could take peak oil in stride for a decade without even noticing the loss if we just got rid of some stupidity.
Peak oil is a mythical disaster thought up by people that don't like fossil fuels for idiotic reasons, or just plain idiotic people. The production will peak because demand will fall off as the cost increases and they wont be able to make more money off of higher production. As more and more of the world economy is shifted to other power sources, like the massively plentiful but currently uneconomical direct solar output. Fertilizer usage can fall a long, long way before it even impact our food supply. Just stopping our idiotic ethanol subsidy would set the US back a decade in fertilizer usage and make fertilizer substantially cheaper worldwide. When our room for stupidity runs out, the answer is equally simple. People will stop eating overly large quantities of grain and meat. Poorer countries will give up most of the highly inefficient food sources, eating more soy, peanuts, various beans, very little beef. Most of the red meat consumed will be grass fed as it is now between the idiotic health craze and our ethanol driven price spike. Most of the meat consumed will be poultry and pork. Rich countries will cut back a bit, maybe stop being such fat ass populations, we're probably not that lucky though. World health will probably be improved a good bit.
Regardless, all of this is not likely to come to pass for a long time. The fear mongering has been substantial, but oil demand hasn't. If we hit peak oil soon it will be because demand fell off before we even got to maximum production capacity.
And this is also so untrue. Governments fund a lot of fundamental academic research, which is used in every aspect of life. Results from fundamental research are also used by companies.
Also, necessity is not the mother of invention. It's imagination and creativity which fuels progress.
When necessity hits, that doesn't mean that new things are invented. Necessity means that there's no time left to explore new ideas and do long-term research. After all, research takes a lot of time, new ideas and insights don't come on demand and need time to mature. When necessity hits, existing ideas are explored, expanded and implemented world-wide. It will be a forced process where policy-makers will determine which ideas will be viable and which are not, it will not a natural process.
Take the Apollo program for example. Some policy maker said: make a big rocket to go to the moon. And sure, within a few years there was a behemoth rocket. However, since then a lot of slower research was done and nowadays rockets are a lot better than the Apollo rocket. Not because of necessity, but because there's time.
Yes, lets take the Apollo program. Some policy maker said lets go to the moon, and government fucked everything to hell for the next 40 years. Do you understand how astoundingly wasteful the shuttle program has been? They're a marvel, really, but government has been blowing billions on projects that have no economic benefit and could have been done massively cheaper to begin with. Every time we sent the shuttle up to deliver crap to the space station, we wasted money. Our old Apollo delivery system was both the superior and the cheaper choice for the job.
NASA is this great big fuck-up of an organization run into the ground by politicians. Has it had it's successes? Sure has. So did Hitler. Did he still think it was a bright idea to invade Russia when he was already busy?
ICBM's, now there's some necessity. We've got to be able to take out the Ruskies after all. Isn't it amazing how deadly our weapons are, and yet for space flight we designed the shuttle, an accident prone POS with massive upkeep costs that's been a train wreck of a program since inception. They fail billion dollar missions regularly, meanwhile private enterprise puts hundreds of satellites into orbit without a hitch.
Government research gets us shrimp on a treadmill, the mating habits of fruit flies, how many nuts the spring breaker consumes with their alcohol. The CDC just called me a couple days ago for a survey, they were looking into the health of children ages 1-9 and 14-17, in households owning a cell phone. I'm paying for that. I wish I was lying, I really do. Government research is a collection of wasted money with the odd success. It's like cutting firewood blindfolded and having someone spin you around first. You might actually get some chopped, but overall the exercise is going to be a colossal waste of time. It might even kill you. God only knows how many people have gotten killed over our idiotic government's research grants. They've outlawed so many completely harmless chemicals that it's hilarious, and typically replaced them with "safe" alternatives that are actual problems. Privately funded research designs a new sugar substitute worth hundreds of millions in revenue, publicly funded research decides it causes cancer because rats get bladder stones when they consume more than humanly possible. Which sugar substitute I'm talking about depends on what fucktard government you've been blessed to reside under, one or the other. Occasionally both, is illegal in pretty much every post industrialization country on the planet.
When there is a serious problem, or at the least they think there's a serious problem, like Stalin taking over Europe(which they countered with a bluff), government can be, relatively, effective. Outside of that, you're pretending the impacts of doing nothing will be catastrophic in order to convince yourself that a massive drain on the productivity of society as a whole is going to eventually pay itself off by averting the catastrophe you've had to convince yourself is coming. Private enterprise has two benefits government will never be able to match, they're spending their own money, and they suffer the direct consequences of their failures.