Peak globalization: Climate change, oil depletion and global trade
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.
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