There’s an interesting new Chart at Gapminder of who produces, and who uses world oil supplies. Notice the steady slip leftwards from the US from 1972 onwards, when we were at our peak in oil production. Interim that capacity has been replaced by other sources, mainly coal and imported oil. That is not a good thing, but on the other hand it’s better than what would be if we had not kept our energy use high. Imagine where the economy would be, and where the world would be if we were not using that energy to produce food, goods, cleaner water, sewage treament, medical products, and other assorted boons to mankind.
If we had replaced the oil production shortfall with nuclear energy over the past thirty years our economy, and the world’s would both be in better shape. Another interesting dot to watch: Iran around 1980.