Friday, July 23, 2010

An Inconvenient Truth

Some oil-rich gentleman from the Middle East said, “My father rode a camel; I drive a Cadillac; my son will ride a camel.” You get the point, I hope: We are at the peak of oil production and while it’s of relatively recent origin, it will run out in the relatively recent future. There’s only so much and we’re using it up fast.

The U.S. without oil means no more: roads, gasoline, lubricants, gas stations, home deliveries, bus service, airplanes, ships, malls (how can you reach them with no cars or buses?), home heating, and whatever I have forgotten to mention. Restaurants outside of town will need to get closer to civilization or perish.

Incidentally, what’s going to happen to the interstate highway system when all we can use are electric cars or a horse & buggy?

Next time you are driving along any road, think of what would no longer be there if we had no more oil. It’s probably a picture of our country before the first oil well was dug and produced, quiet, very neighborhood-oriented services, and you visit your Aunt Mary once or twice a decade out in Ohio somewhere.

The inconvenient truth is that we have a finite amount of oil and are using it up for all sorts of frivolous purposes. It’s as if someone came into a huge inheritance and spent it for all sorts of things, not worrying about what might happen when it’s all gone. Whether it’s money or oil, we should have planned for the long run.


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