There's an interview of Matthew Simmons, the energy banker, in Fortune magazine with the heading "Here comes $500 oil".
Now, it's impossible to know for sure whether we'll get price that or just shortages, but either way an abrupt change we will get, esp. if oil production drops sharply off the current plateau.
Either way, we're likely going to to turn to using coal, which will explode our carbon footprint. In fact, we are already doing that, but it can get worse. Much worse.
So, what's the impact?
The impact is that the 450ppm limits and max 2 degrees Celsius warming effects are starting to look like a pipe dream:
"The paper concludes that it is increasingly unlikely any global agreement will
deliver the radical reversal in emission trends required for stabilization at 450 ppmv carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Similarly, the current framing of climate change cannot be reconciled with the rates of mitigation necessary to stabilize at 550 ppmv CO2e and even an optimistic interpretation suggests stabilization much below 650 ppmv CO2e is improbable"
- Kevin Anderson & Alice Bows, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
So, it's either mitigate, reduce and adapt - or crash, scramble and die.
Here's hoping for that $500 dollar oil that is going to push up the price of natural gas and coal also so high we can't afford any of them.
The effect of $500 oil: we consume less oil. We'll be thankful in the end.