This is the reasoning I find compelling, whether or not it corresponds to a situation approximating Peak Oil: The demand for oil is rising rapidly in China and India as they develop their economies and their people become richer, demanding a higher standard of living that requires more oil. This at a time when demand has already exceeded supply. Simply economics yields a prediction of ever increasing oil prices. Although the Peak Oil people argued that tappable oil reserves are in fact misrepresented on the high side, I agree with the MIT view that the higher the price for oil, the more oil can be tapped from more costly sources, such as tar sands and oil shale. The problem is that we cannot burn any more fossil fuels, and that places a limit on oil consumption. But the further, and possibly more stringent limit at this point may be refinery capacity, which produces as I see it a modified Peak Oil situation. Refineries are not being built, and whenever there is a refinery malfunction or explosion, more capacity is lost, at least for a time. According to a colleague, the timeline for getting new refineries on line is 2-3 years in emergency priority such as existed during WWII, and 12-13 years for just the permitting under today's priorities. This strongly suggests gas and diesel shortages will be normal, and prices will continue to rise. Again, simple economics would indicate that they would rise independent of the refinery situation, because demand exceeds supply.
Meanwhile, this was the scene outside the Statehouse: the Boston area Tibetan community demonstrating about the Chinese violence in Tibet and their desire for a free Tibet.