Thursday, March 10, 2011

Black gold and you

Most of us have been hearing and reading about it for years. Oil is running out. Supplies are finite. It's just a matter of time. The sky is falling . . . .

We get pretty numb to it, and yet, how aware are you of how important oil really is to your life?

I strongly recommend the 2006 film titled "A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash."

Oil has given our world unparalleled prosperity, but there really is a finite supply. Demand is growing quickly each year, yet we are likely at or past the peak production of oil. The U.S. hit peak production in 1970. Many other countries have also passed their peaks.

The film combines interviews with a fascinating cast of characters (oil industry experts and observers) with historical footage (some quite amusing) along with a pace and a narrative thread that pulls you along to the sobering conclusion.

The fact that oil will eventually run out has been understood for decades. Yet many people remain unaware of the implications of running out of oil. Oil is prevalent in every aspect of our lives. It literally keeps the economy going, makes it possible for us to grow massive quantities of food, supplies us with a nearly infinite number of products (plastics, etc.), heats homes, contributes to electricity production and it is the foundation of modern transportation.

By being aware of the situation, more people will be willing and ready to take a stand and press our political leaders to prepare for a time when our most important energy source, one we are dependent on and addicted to, will no longer be cheap or abundant. Politicians will not lead the way on this issue until they are pushed by their constituents or forced to act because of a crisis. The crisis of the 1970s OPEC oil embargo knocked the world’s most powerful countries, including the United States, onto their knees. The primary action American politicians have consistently taken since the 1970s is to do all they can to secure oil supplies. This does nothing for us when supplies start to dwindle.

We can mitigate the pain of the pending crisis of declining oil supplies by acting aggressively now to develop other sources of energy and live our lives in ways that use less energy. We can STAND FOR LESS oil used by driving less, buying more fuel efficient cars, arranging our lives so we don’t have to drive everywhere. We can stand for more development of alternative energy sources, but oil is currently so important to every aspect of our society, that it will be a major adjustment to live with less of it.

It may be a year or 10 or optimistically 15, but we are on the cusp of an upheaval in oil supplies.

Jim Breitinger

The video below gives you a sample of the film. It’s available on DVD and Netflix on demand.

I wrote this post for STAND FOR LESS where it originally appeared on January 7, 2011.

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