"At this point, it's almost certainly too late to manage a transition to sustainability on a global or national scale, even if the political will to attempt it existed, which it clearly does not. Our civilization is in the early stages of the same curve of decline and fall as so many others have followed before it. What likely lies in wait for us is a long, uneven decline into a new Dark Age from which, centuries from now, the civilizations of the future will gradually emerge."
Who can we blame for $4.00 a gallon? Answer: every last one of us cotton pickin' American gas guzzling 8-cylinder SUV drivers, trucks, trains, boats and planes! We burn 20 million barrels a day in the United States. The world's humans burn 84 million barrels daily. That's 29.9 billion barrels of oil annually worldwide! Whopping carbon footprint! Hey! Did you think a finite resource like "endless oil' could go on forever? That's like sucking on an "endless milkshake' straw at the local diner! It eventually runs dry and you suck on air.
Are you upset? You gotta' be kiddin' me! The "Hubbert Curve" told us that "Peak Oil" would hit the United States in 1970 when geologist M.King Hubbert predicted a drop from nine million barrels to three million barrels daily. It came to pass!
Peak Everything: Facing a Century of Declines by Richard Heinberg tells us we face rapidly declining supplies of metals, water, oil, coal, minerals and most other resources we rape the Earth to acquire for our rapacious human activities. Are we preparing with such simple plans like 10 cent deposit/return laws on all metals, plastics and glass. Not a chance!
If you think $4.00 a gallon today hits your wallet, think again. Chris Steiner wrote $20 Per Gallon, which predicts with deadly accuracy a steady rise of prices from $5.00 to $10.00 to ultimately $20.00 per gallon before mid-century. Why? Answer: we may have only burned 50 percent of the Earth's oil supplies, but it's father down, harder to get at and more expensive to extract. Thus, costs rise!
Experts knew it would happen, but since 1970, we just kept burning oil like there was no tomorrow. Tomorrow happens to be today! How's that big Ram truck with eight powerful cylinders doing for you at $4.00 a gallon. Peak Oil will prove a game-changer!
We failed to incorporate conservation in any form. We failed to plan. We failed ourselves and future generations.
"As we go from this happy hydrocarbon bubble we have reached now to a renewable energy resource economy, which we do this century, will the "civil" part of civilization survive? As we both know there is no way that alternative energy sources can supply the amount of per capita energy we enjoy now, much less for the 9 billion expected by 2050. And energy is what keeps this game going. We are involved in a Faustian bargain--selling our economic souls for the luxurious life of the moment, but sooner or later the price has to be paid." Walter Youngquist, energy
"An immutable fact of expensive gasoline: Americans will find someone to blame," said Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal. "We can expect in the coming months to hear many sober analysts attempt to explain the complex reasons for rising oil prices: inflation, Middle East tremors, growing demand. Expect, too, for all those reasons to vanish behind what most Americans will see as the far more obvious cause: President Obama's regulatory assault on domestic oil and gas production."
Obama, Congress and the American people dance around the fact that we failed to plan. We face an unsustainable "Peak Oil" consumption conundrum. We created a "Faustian Bargain" with the inevitable "Hobson's Choice" for the final answer. That "answer' forces us to take only two choices left to us: pick door number 1 and you get to walk over a cliff with no parachute; pick door number 2 and you fall into quicksand with no lifeguard.
In January 2008, candidate Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle that under his cap-and-trade plan, "electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket." Steven Chu, now Secretary of Energy, told this newspaper in the same year: "Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." Currently, $8.00 a gallon in UK!
In his book The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler, he predicted that China would burn 98 million barrels of oil daily by 2030. They stick six million new cars on their highways every year--so they will reach that burn rate in 19 years.
However, the planet will be coughing up only empty "stuff' like you do at the end of your "endless milkshake' when you suck on "nothing left'.
What can we do?
- Massive change-over to two and four cylinder cars
- Massive push for electric and solar cars