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The Prophecies

What follows is my attempt to predict some of the things which might occur. They are roughly in chronological order. Although there is a touch of humour (to keep me sane), each prediction is genuine and I consider not unlikely to happen.

These prophecies were written in February 2004 and have not been added or amended since then except for comments which appear like this.


  • Oil production begins to fall. Politicians, economists and oil companies reassure everyone that it is a short-term blip and blame it on Iraq / OPEC / recession / overproduction / underproduction / aliens (delete as relevant). World oil production is pretty flat and OPEC seems unable to raise it.
  • A prominent politician or famous scientist alerts the world to the dangers of peak oil. Articles begin to appear in the media but it is still mainly ignored. 1970s predictions about "oil running out in twenty years" are resurrected and still not understood. Beginning to occur in 2007 as more people recognise the problem, and particularly in 2008 with the oil price rises.
  • Iraq is broken up into separate countries: the Kurds in the north, the Sunnis in the centre, and the Shiites in the south. The USA is "asked to stay on" in the Kurdish and Shiite regions to maintain law and order, thereby maintaining a military presence in the Middle East and remaining (purely by coincidence) near the major oil fields. So far, Iraq remains in "one piece" (if a very fragile one piece) but peace has not returned and the USA has not left.
  • King Fahd of Saudi Arabia dies. The country is torn by in-fighting which eventually results in a more radical Islamic state. The US president remembers Iraq and remains out. The UK (purely by coincidence) agrees with whatever the USA thinks. King Fahd died on 1 August 2005: so far, stability remains.


  • Rise in oil prices bring on recession in North America and Europe. Blamed on OPEC. Possibly occurring in 2008/9. OPEC has already been blamed for not increasing production (as if they could).
  • Food and power shortages hit Asian and African countries but is largely ignored in the Developed World as "this is what is expected over there". Food shortages are occurring due to the costs of oil, increased demand and the use of biofuels.
  • Major dispute between Canada and USA as people of the former wonder why they should have to freeze so that their natural gas can keep the people of the latter warm (or cool, as the case may be). Yet to happen.
  • Yet another 'discovery' of the enormous resource in tar sands. Yet another attempt to explain why it isn't the same as conventional oil. Has occurred several times in 2007/8.
  • Oil depletion causes aviation fuel to soar in price. Distant tourist areas such as Pacific islands, South Africa and Australia/New Zealand notice massive drops in visitors which result in rises in unemployment. Some airlines have already gone bust and others are raising their prices.
  • Oil shortages in China force it to resort to coal to produce electricity. Acid rain and other pollutions spread across Korea and Japan. Massive rise in coal-based power stations in China.
  • Blackouts and brownouts hit the USA and Europe. Blamed on privatisation / effects of global warming / recession / aliens.
  • Exotic foods in shops begin to rise in price and become less common. There is a new fad for turning parts of your garden aside for growing vegetables. Endless TV shows about gardening.
  • In the home, there is a rise in energy-saving measures such as small solar heating panels, lightbulbs, insulation. This is occurring although based around global warming. Endless TV shows about DIY.
  • Rise of interest in small cars and motorcycles (anything rather than public transport). Four wheel drive vehicles become even more embarrassing to own and are given away free with breakfast cereals. People are talking about fuel economy and even the Americans are beginning to turn to smaller models.
  • War breaks out between Vietnam and the Philippines over oil in the South China Sea.
  • Worldwide reductions in crop yields. Costs of food soar. This is occurring as people grow biofuels instead of food. Millions starve or suffer from malnutrition. Global economies devastated by need to feed their populations. Revolutions spread across South America and Africa. Banking system in collapse. Northern Rock, credit crunch, etc.
  • OPEC restricts supplies of oil to USA, already suffering massive losses of hydrocarbon supplies.
  • Third World War begins.





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