I've decided to post this answer since I feel I have enough
information to work from. I will first explain my analysis and then
list my source sites after. I will try to be concise yet informative
on the topic. I base most of my explanation on the first website I
list, the Oilcrash site.
According to most of my find on the Web, "peak oil" will certainly
cause problems - big ones. It undoubted that today's modern world has
a heavy, almost irrevocable dependence on oil. Oil problems like those
that occurred in the 1973 Embargo and other such events are said to be
small foretastes of what will really happen should oil truly cease to
be available. So I believe that when oil does run out, civilization
might certainly start to decline and degrade in many parts of the
world. Whether it will lead to civilizational collapse, I believe it
to be quite likely than not.
It may not be the end of the human race, though it might be the end of
civilization, as most of the sites about "Peak Oil" say. Most
certainly it is one scenario where technological advancement will
cease and regress. Perhaps mankind will go on living, though maybe
with a different kind of technology, lesser technology, but never with
the oil-based technology we use today. Yes, you could consider it the
end of civilization as we know it today. I myself have asked other
people about it and they're frightened to think of a world without
As for the solution of coal conversion in to oil, this kind of
conversion has been done and is doable. But the technology is only
beginning in development, or even in acceptance, and it may even be
more costly and difficult to process than just drilling for oil in the
ground. Even if it may get perfected in the end, it may just be too
late. In addition, most of the sites below with expert opinions say
that alternative fuels are no solution to solve the oil crisis. So
based on this, I doubt that coal conversion to oil is any solution to
the problem of Peak Oil.
I for one believe the only solution is to drastically cut down
dependence on oil as early as possible and change the way society
works before the Peak Oil effect happens. In other words, we can only
prepare for it. And drastic change in the structure of society today
will be needed to deal with it. If technological advancement is to
continue, there will have to be a shift to non-oil derived technology.
The problem with this is that the way the world is run is heavily
influenced by corporate interests. Among the biggest corporate
interests are the big oil companies - Shell, Petron, Exxon, Mobil.
Their funds also fuel most of the world's economy. Also, remember oil
doesn't just mean fuel... even lubricants and other machine oil
applications are based on petroleum. Plastic I believe is a material
that is in a big part derived from petroleum. When oil becomes scarce,
many products we use and take for granted in daily life will become
scarce, and we may return to the wood- and metal-dependent societies
of older times.
Sounds dreary, but I agree that civilization will be in trouble
because of Peak Oil. Alternative fuels are not worthy solutions to
solve Peak Oil, because they are not enough to cover what crude oil
does. I guess we'll just have to prepare and pray nothing truly
disastrous does happen.
Here are the websites with articles talking about Peak Oil and its
effects. I believe most of them hint to a condition of collapse when
oil is close to depletion:
Oilcrash: Home Page
- Here's a website which seems to have lots of information on the
subject. It has links to other sites, articles by experts and list of
books on the subject. This seems to be the best site on the topic so
ASPO the Association for the Study of Peak Oil
- The interviews with Mr. Colin Campbell give a lot of information here.
Life After The Oil Crash
- This site has a quite a pessimistic outlook. It seems also meant to
promote a book.
An MBendi Profile: World: Oil And Gas Industry - Peak Oil: an Outlook
on Crude Oil Depletion - C.J.Campbell - Revised February 2002
Peak Oil - A turning Point for Mankind
Peak Oil article from A Witness website
Guerrila News Network: The solution to Peak Oil - message board thread
Oil: Are We Running Out?
by David Deming
January 12-15, 2000
San Diego, California
The Fall of Petroleum Civilization - peak oil
- Here's a site predicting the fall of petroleum-based civilization.
CNN Confirms Peak Oil: (news article)
World oil and gas 'running out' By CNN's Graham Jones, October 2, 2003
MSNBC - Crude Awakening
- "...So if you want to liquefy coal as a substitute for oil in
transportation - which is its most important application - you would
have to mine coal at a rate that?s many, many times at the rate of
what we?re doing now. But the conversion process is very inefficient."
Oil depletion: Overview, links and resources
EnviroHealth - Peak Oil Really Bad?
- Another message board thread about the Peak Oil topic. Other angles
on the subject can be looked at in the other messages.
Peak Oil Watch - Following coverage of oil production peak risks - CAMWEST
- Here's an Australian organization keeping its own eye on the oil situation.
Is Peak Oil a Myth?
- Another site debating the reality of Peak Oil.
Coal-oil conversion technology:
United Press International: China plant to convert coal to motor fuel
19/11/2002 -- Researchers consider cheaper ways to convert coal to gasoline
mcall.com - Coal-to-fuel plant wins $100 million
COAL CONVERSION JUNE 1986
Google search terms used:
"peak oil" effects
"peak oil" solution
coal convert oil
world oil depletion
"peak oil" coal oil convert
"peak oil" coal oil conversion
coal convert fuel oil
coal conversion oil solution peak
coal conversion oil solution "peak oil"
I hope this has been a most helpful answer. If you need anything else,
or have a problem with the answer, do please post a Request for
Clarification before rating and I shall respond as soon as I can.