Monday, September 17th, 2007

The end of oil?


I’ve just finished a book called “The Long Emergency” by James Howard Kunstler (he also has a blog of sorts) about what happens to North American society once the oil runs out. It ain’t pretty, to put it mildly. The suburbs will be deserted, we’ll all revert to an agrarian society and life will basically suck. There are other studies about the phenomenon of peak oil, which is when we hit the top amount of oil pulled out of the ground, after which it costs more to pull it out than it’s worth, but they’re essentially variations on a theme.

Kunstler also says alternative fuels won’t save us, since nothing is as efficient as oil for keeping the global economy moving. Essentially, we’ve had it incredibly easy for the lat couple of centuries, and we might get a taste of life in the 1700s near the middle of the 21st century.

On the other hand, we’ve supposedly got 60-100 years left of usable oil, so you’d think in that time somebody would come up with a solution before we hurtle back into feudalism. Crossed fingers.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

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