STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

Just another weblog

Imagine a World Without Oil

Posted by mhudema on July 28, 2008

Imagine a world without oil? A better question would be,”What alternative energy sources have we developed, and how quickly can they be utilized?” Even this question doesn’t begin to address the future we are facing, nor does it highlight the scope of the situation. In light of the current rise in gasoline prices, I began to suspect that there is much more going on, besides the greed of the oil corporations. I’m pretty good at connecting the dots, and reading between the lines, and the facts are pointing to an unpleasant conclusion. This conclusion will hit americans the hardest, and will possibly be the greatest social, economic, and sweeping overnight change the country will face in this century. Reality check, oil isn’t forever, and at the exponential growth vs. demand equation, factored in with the peak has already passed, how long will reserves actually last? If other countries are already tapping ‘Tar Sands’ for oil, what does this mean in the big picture?

Considering that the United States consumes 25% of the oil produced worldwide, and only possess’s 2% of the oil reserves, anyone can see that the current hike in prices, will only continue upward. You don’t need a degree in economics to comprehend the situation we’ll be facing. You don’t need to be a mathematical genius either, to equate that more people equals more oil used. We aren’t just beginning to tap this resource like India and China and Africa, so adding these new drains into the equation now paints a bleaker picture than before. Just to make the situation a bit clearer, 90% of all Chinese believe they’ll own a car within the next five years. The population which, in numbers alone could shake the earth, if they all jumped at the same time. Which now brings up the question, “So how much oil is really left?” The answer is, that nobody knows for certain. Even though the technological advances made in the last 35 years have made finding oil reserves more efficient, they haven’t done a thing to reap greater yields, from a single barrel of oil. Then there’s the un-advertised fact that over 80% (possibly 90% by now) of reserves have already been discovered, leaving very few places left to look. Again, you don’t need to be a genious to see where this will inevitably lead us.

Okay, so what? No more oil, big deal! What will this really mean to the average Joe? I can’t speak for him, but, I know how it would effect me. Most people really don’t even associate oil with everyday common household objects: toothbrushes, plastic bags, computers, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, clothing, but all these items are petroleum by-products. So bye bye synths, bye bye computer, bye bye free time, bye bye relatively inexpensive food supplies. Food? What? Yes food too! In America the agricultural industry is also petroleum driven: machinery runs on it, and fertilizers and pesticides all are petroleum by-products. A trip to the grocery store will be a rich mans luxury, we all are beginning to feel the pinch already, reflected in the cost of goods, and it has only just begun. Factor in that the farmers will have to pay people to do the work the machinery used to do. Plus, the inflated shipping costs to get goods to markets, and this is also dependent on how much growing lands are producing food over bio-diesel crops. Drive-thru culture will end, fast food won’t be fast if it’s even available. Jumping into the car to drive to work, won’t be an everyday occurance, for the simple fact that there will not be anymore gasoline.

Now I think you’re beginning to formulate the question, “Well what about the Bio-fuels and other alternative fuels?” Practically speaking, there isn’t enough usable land mass to grow the amount of vegetation, needed to supply the need for fuel. Top that with the resulting yield of fuel vs. cost to manufacture the amount necessary to meet the demand, and you’ll find the cost will still be beyond the reach of average people. I have confidence that the technology can be engineered, but when will it become accessible? Currently, the amount of time and financing of research into developing the technology, is minimal. Justification for this lack of research is that there isn’t a current demand that rationalizes the expenditure of funds. In other words, why develop these alternatives when there isn’t an immediate need for them? The between the lines translation is, “We can’t profit from it yet”. In essence, we’ve been sold out by the very people who have been profiting off of us for all these years. The same people who made us dependent on their products, are now ignoring the monster they created. In all reality though, the oil companies and car companies aren’t totally responsible, we are too. Our insatiable lust for status symbols, and striving to obtain the false ideal of the ‘American Dream’ is now turning on us.

So, there you have a tiny glimpse into the future, the problem has been exposed, now what? Statistics already show that the average person has already cut back on their driving, since gas prices began rising. I’m certain this trend will continue, as long as prices continue to rise, I know I’m planning my trips better. Will just cutting back on our driving alone, stave off the impending crisis? No, again, it’s just a delaying tactic to an inevitable event, but every bit helps. Action needs to taken, and our government representatives should be bombarded with requests for attention to address this issue. To get more details watch the film A Crude Awakening, and I’m sure there are many other sources to find as well. Other things we can do are recycling more, using less, and implementing alternative energy sources into our homes annd lives. Capitalism is a funny thing, entrepeneurs will supply the solutions when the dollars are buying them! The sooner we wean ourselves of the petroleum jones, the longer the resource will last, to be used for things we cannot produce without it


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