95. LESSONS FROM WORLD WAR II
Some doomers say the U.S. can't conserve oil, and can't crack down on the private automobile because waste is the foundation of the U.S. economy. For instance, MonteQuest (a doomer moderator at peakoil.com) is fond of saying that one out of every six jobs in the U.S. is tied to the automotive industry. His position is that waste=jobs. We have to be wasteful to keep people employed, and any attempt to reduce consumption or car use will cause an economic collapse.
This is incorrect, as can be seen from the following chart of U.S. automobile production:
Note the big dip for WWII. This shows that society can still function, even if fuel is rationed and passenger car production is swiftly ramped down to very low levels.
In fact, in terms of production volumes, the economy performed superbly during WWII. Look at these aircraft production numbers:
This shows the sort of focused, rapid production scale-up industry can achieve when it has to.