Unprecedented economic expansion over the past century has been powered
by abundant and relatively inexpensive oil and other fossil fuels. How
would the U.S. and global economy respond to an oil supply crisis and
the prospect of diminishing oil supplies? What would economic “growth”
and “development” look like in a future with less oil?
I think this
might be the time for me to highlight the theme of equity (in particular, international- and inter-generational equity).
That statement, "... in a future with less oil," is hinting in the direction of "oil continues to be treated as a fuel."
Hmmm. If there is no awareness of the value of oil, not for burning up
one-time-only, but as a substance for long term use by our progeny, what
right do we have to tie up people's time talking about an economy? What is an economy without leaving behind some resources for a next generation to take over?
Where do we weave this fundamental
into the peak oil story? I for one am coming to loath the continuing using the
term "fossil fuels." We are burning stones to get around?! How do you explain that to your grandchildren? We are so shortsighted to consume these resources that belong to their future.
I'm probably going to drive to town soon, and jump in an airplane before the year is up. Shame on me. The point though is
to put our heads together, to find common ground, so that
collectively, we can put a new spin on oil, to begin to treat it as a valuable
resource, too precious to burn. Might that perspective serve well to
transform our efforts into a more noble cause?
Today we look
back in disgust at whaling for lamp oil. How primitive to kill those magnificent sentient leviathans just to light up a room. What will the beyond-oil people of the future think of us?!