Petrocollape: the collapse of the petroleum-based economy and infrastructure, caused by unbearably high oil prices and crippling shortage. Causes include the global peak in crude oil extraction ("peak oil
"), a major and sudden geopolitical event in the Persian Gulf region, the unsustainable growth of the corporate economy and unhealthful consumerism. Context: there is no technological fix for fully replacing petroleum (oil and natural gas) with other fuels or processes because of the unique and multifacted aspects of petroleum which has been so cheap in cost and return on energy invested. Agriculture even more so that transportation is very petroleum intensive, a problem that cannot be solved for a huge, petroleum-dependent population. Alternative approaches such as permaculture
and community economics
have been suggested.
Petrocollapse has only just started to hit the planet, but Cuba already endured a kind of petrocollapse with the loss of Soviet oil after the break up of the Soviet Union. Cuba's special period in the early 1990s without much oil required a restructuring of society toward urban organic gardening and farming, much more bicycling, and decentralized solar energy. The film "The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil" by Community Solutions
tells the history and shares what the Cuban people learned and how they benefited from the changes.