The current price of a barrel of oil is $135. Wow that is a lot of money. People have been talking about this eventuality for years. But nobody wants to think about ones own death until forced to do so by fate and the facts of life.
Our world runs on oil and so to have our BLOOD supply so expensive really screws things up for the whole system. We become sick, like a patient with a blood disease where the ability of the body to produce blood is dysfunctional. So the whole body begins to weaken.
In the future location is going to be even more important. Location of work to home, location of food to home, location of manufacturer to consumer, location of supplies to demand. Making a car on one side of the planet and selling it on the other side of the planet may to really work anymore. Same with growing food and shipping it thousands of miles.
We have built a world economy based on some really bad sand. The sand of cheap crude oil. If things continue the entire world economy will shift into a radically new direction. I hope it will be a smarter direction.
Then again we tend to make decisions based on momentary satisfaction. For instance ethanol from corn is causing food prices world wide to soar. It is also the spreading of a crop that is very costly to produce. In fact it is more costly than pumping oil out of the ground. We are doing this since it is a quick fix.
In the long run it is only conservation of energy resources that is going to work. We are not going to replace petroleum with ethanol or bio-diesel. We have to make our life more efficient. Only efficiency in energy usage is going to allow for the continued expansion of human civilization. The equation we are in is very complex and hard for the average human to solve. An example of this is recycling. How much energy does it take to recycle? Somethings are better to recycle than others. Somethings it may be better to simply bury.
What is clear is that the idea of buying, using, and tossings, is about over. Also the idea of vast arrays of cheap consumables may also be coming to and end. Look inside a Walmart and ask yourself "how much energy did it take to fill this store? How much to produce the products lining the shelves?"
Efficiency, at some point, is going to rub up against the consumer economy. Simply put we are not going to be able to live in an efficient world, safe from environmental destruction, and with an expanding civilization based on available energy, and have a Walmart society. They will probably be mutually exclusive.
I hate people who claim to be able to predict stuff, but I will do it now anyway. I would predict that, ceterus paribus, manufacturing will be done close to the consumer, and that the manufacturing process will be based on instantly available data on need not desire. This pattern will be managed through a order of magnitude shift in cost from Needed items to Desired items. This does not bode well for an society of equality. Especially if you define equality as being able to acquire the same stuff as your neighbor.