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The Archies

Photo diaries from travels around our humble globe are still being posted; the unemployment diary has been downsized as i am now employed! I hope to post stuff to keep you distracted from your respective employment.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The End of Suburbia

A few days ago I posted an article about peak oil, or rather, the global denial of the phenomenon.

Since then I saw the documentry - The End Of Suburbia.

One of the scariest movies i've ever seen, ever. And it didn't seem like scare-mongering.

Here's why. According to the film:
  • A scientist named Hubbart predicted using all sorts of calculations that oil in the US had reached it's peak in the 70s. After this oil would not run out, but be more difficult and expensive to get. He was laughed at and discredited. And then they realised he was right, and the oil crisis of the 70s occured.
  • Now most of the world's oil is in the middle east. And that same scientist has predicted, using the same methods, that the WORLD supply of oil will peak in the next 10 years, if it hasn't peaked already. Enter our next fuel crisis.
  • This means no more cheap gas. Gas goes up many many many times the cost it is now - and what else does this mean?
    • Living in a suburb, far away from where you work, becomes nonsensical.
    • No longer will you see that ceasar salad from california. that 3000 mile salad goes by-by, along with most other distance foods.
    • so we eat from local right? the big problem is we've overfarmed our soil, and we produce the volume of crops we do using oil-based fertilizers and oil-based pesticides. And i mean LOTS of the stuff. this does not bode well.
    • we will be poorer. recessions and depressions on the horizon. yay.
So why is it not gettng any attention? According to the film, there's really little alternative. There's nothing that matches cheap oil. Electric cars won't save you- in most areas electricity comes from a fossil fuel. Hydrogen cars won't save you. Nuclear is expensive energy. At the moment, with existing technology - there's really nothing we can do, and the best thing to do is pretend it isn't coming.

The film makes other off the cuff predictions like how controling the remaining oil will be paramount, moreso than it is now. In fact, they attribute this imminent oil crisis to the current Iraq adventure. If there will be a world war in the near future, this is why it will be - possibly between the Chinese and the US over control of the last reserves of bubbling crude. Oil that is.

"Afghanistan and Iraq are the two opening engagements in what are bound to be a long series of wars and international contests over the remaining oil in the world, and over 60 percent of that oil is located in places where people don't like us very much," says Kunstler.

ON the plus side, the film predicts we'll be forgetting our green lawns and planting vegitables, putting up solar panels, and windmills. And windmills are pretty.

If we can't save the world - perhaps there's something you and I can do to be that pig in the brick house when the wolf comes to the door. I'm just not sure what that is yet - so please leave a suggestion at the sound of the tone.


  • At 1:05 PM, Blogger Martini said…

    If scientists can create synthetic oil, I don't see why they can't create synthetic gasoline.

    I once tried to convert part of our house to solar power, but the Ontario government does not allow connection to their power grid, like California. You must save all your own energy in batteries. Too expensive for me. Also, during the winter, you can't get enough sun to power a hot water heater.

    We need more hydro-electric generation, and to re-open our Nuclear plants that already exist.

  • At 2:26 PM, Blogger Kev And Charlotte said…

    they probably can but
    - 1 litre of gas > 90cents.
    1 litre of synthetic oil - a lot more than 90 cents!!!

    it's not that it's going empty - it's more that it's going to be harder and harder (and therefore more expensive) to come by.

  • At 11:50 AM, Blogger Martini said…

    I buy synthetic oil for my cars, which is roughly double the price of real oil. I'd GLADLY pay double or triple the price for synthetic gasoline if it solves the oil/gasoline crisis and averts a war. However, I'd still prefer an electric car.

  • At 7:38 PM, Blogger Kev And Charlotte said…

    That's good. it all helps, but it's no solution and no replacement.

    you commuting to the spec could do on an electric car or bike, not many commuters could.

    and, in most of north america and the rest of the world - electricity comes from fossil fuel. We are lucky enough to have hydro thru niagara. (until we become terrorists, of course!)

  • At 1:14 AM, Blogger Andrew_ said…

    If we could hook up to the grid, I've long thought we should make MFC into a small windfarm - make money while no one is there and the few weeks a year when it is in use, use the funds generated from the rest of the year.

    On another note, no more oil might be good for the environment. But think of how no more cheap oil will affect us - the list of every day products that are petroleum based is staggerring.

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