What no one is paying attention to is global oil exports. They peaked in 2005 and have been falling ever since. Why? Because countries that export oil have been using more internally. And because crude oil production has been flatlined at around 74mbd since 2005.
Sure, we can try to transition to natural gas. But oil is denser in energy and the transition will be bumpy to say the least. In five years, all of the big trucks and fleets (UPS, Fedx, US Mail, etc.) will be using natgas in the US. The supply of gasoline and diesel is going to begin shrinking soon. That is a fact that cannot be denied.
Personally, I don't see how energy prices can be contained with oil supplies shrinking. The ramifications seem dire. We talk mostly about economics today and ignore energy, but I would submit they are closely related. If oil was at $25, we probably wouldn't have slow global economic growth.
The oil situation should be front page news and everyone should know the oil supply and export situation. Right now less than 1% of Americans could tell you the amount of global oil exports (approximately 41 mbd). This number is perhaps the most important one for our well being and standard of living.
Everyone is expecting their local gas stations to always be full of gas. But come 2015, that is no longer going to be the case. We can be like ostriches for a few more years, but the countdown is here. We are literally heading towards the demise of our way of life, and yet nearly everyone is oblivious to this fact -- or are ignoring it.
We talk about debt nearly incessantly. But finances can be revitalized (check history). However, energy is the key to everything. Without cheap energy you don't have affordable food; affordable transportation; nor economic growth.
In 2006, I thought we would be screwed by 2012. It turned out that 2008-2009, created an economic decline that delayed the energy crisis. I figure it was delayed for three years. So, expect TSTHTF in 2015.