Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Peak Globalisation" and Peak Oil

A new paper by Fred Curtis in Ecological Economics introduces us to the term "Peak Globalisation". Always one who enjoys a new movement peak globalisation is right up my street.

I am not sure I believe this story but I expect I will need to read the paper to form a complete view. "Peak globalisation" could be a long way off especially is "peak oil" is a myth.

Peak globalization: Climate change, oil depletion and global trade

Department of Economics, Drew University, Madison, NJ 07940, United States


The global trade in goods depends upon reliable, inexpensive transportation of freight along complex and long-distance supply chains. Global warming and peak oil undermine globalization by their effects on both transportation costs and the reliable movement of freight. Countering the current geographic pattern of comparative advantage with higher transportation costs, climate change and peak oil will thus result in peak globalization, after which the volume of exports will decline as measured by ton-miles of freight. Policies designed to mitigate climate change and peak oil are very unlikely to change this result due to their late implementation, contradictory effects and insufficient magnitude. The implication is that supply chains will become shorter for most products and that production of goods will be located closer to where they are consumed.

Keywords: Climate change; Peak oil; Globalization; International trade; Supply chains