Monday, April 26, 2010

Current Embargoes on Cuba and North Korea are pictures of Future Peak Oil

Anyone who thinks peak oil is inevitable, if not imminent, will find this article interesting.

Friedrichs, J. (2010, In Press). Global energy crunch: How different parts of the world would react to a peak oil scenario. Energy Policy,

At first when I read its title, I thought the author had run a model simulating countries' responses to assumed crude oil depletion. I was wrong.
The article tells stories of three countries that had confronted or have been confronting embargoes or economic sanctions imposed upon them: Japan during the World War II, and modern days' North Korea and Cuba.
The author labels each country's reaction to their predicament as,
  • Japan, 1918-1945:   predatory militarism
  • North Korea, 1990s: totalitarian retrenchment
  • Cuba, 1990s:        socioeconomic adaptation
According to the author, Cuban socioeconomic adaptation is desirable. He reasons that the virtues of Cuban experience in the middle of energy crisis come from the power of local communities and subsistence-based lifestyles. He sees even the industrialized countries will have to rely on Cuban approaches when they face up to peak oil.

In this regard (that I agree with the author), I want to introduce my small paper written a few years ago. (If you are looking for a quality paper, do not click on the link below!!! It was just my homework for a class.)

Park, H. (2007). Cuba’s Response to Energy Crisis. Working Paper. Retrievable at

By the way, I think the following publication is the best review of peak oil so far.

Sorrell, S., Speirs, J., Bentley, R., Brandt, A., & Miller, R. (2009). Global Oil Depletion: An assessment of the evidence for a near-term peak in global oil production. London, UK: UK Energy Research Centre. [Full-text at]

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the paper, i enjoyed it! good thinking