How To Invest For Long-Term Inflation

It's no secret that food and energy are volatile and rising of late. Yet what's missing from the latest inflation hand-wringing is what's down the road. Some commodities are becoming scarcer and that will drive long-term inflation.
While few invest based on scarcity, it's a prudent long-term strategy. This is not something that will turn up in the latest inflation numbers. In the most recent costumer price index report, core inflation climbed at a 1.3 percent annual rate in April. Gasoline prices accounted for half the increase.
One Long-term prediction that has slowly manifested itself over the past 30 years is the concept of peak oil. This story-borne out by production figures-posits that we have passed the peak of petroleum production worldwide. New oil is not only harder to find, it's in places that are tougher to access, such as miles below the ocean floor.
Is peak oil responsible for the recent $100/barel-plus prices ? Not entirely, since supply disruptions in the Middle East and speculation play a big part. There's also the demand side Developing countries like China, India, and Brazil want their share of hydrocarbons for new cars, chemicals, plastics and fertilizer.
Some of the peak-oil thinking has already been integrated into urban planning in emerging economies. New public-transit systems are being built in 82 Chinese and 14 Indian cities. It's extremely difficult to buy a car in either Shanghai or Beijing. If we're indeed seeing the end of the carbon age, then mass transit is a positive development.
Speaking of transportations, more of it is greening due to the revolution in electric cars and batteries. Not only are cars becoming all-electric, they can go further on a single charge. Right now, no one can use them for long trips. With never technology, that will change.
Long-term, greener vehicles mean lower transportation costs, which take a hefty bite of family budgets in an era of $4-plus-a-gallon gasoline and diesel. Of course, it would be ideal if the bulk of electricity used to power green cars didn't come from coal. But that, too, will depend on whether smart policy planners device a national program for renewable power. At present, there is no viable, long-range clean-energy plan in the U.S. It's all a hodge-podge now.
More of how to invest for inflation on Reuters