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Reply #46: It depends on a lot of factors. [View All]

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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #42
46. It depends on a lot of factors.
But life as we know it is that way because of petroleum. That is the main backdrop that I think so many people simply take for granted. And without that, things really do look a lot like 1890. Horse, ploughs. Except that we have six billion people. That really aggravates everything. Like the food supply.

It depends on how fast we can start manufacturing alternative energy conversion equipment. But that takes manufacturing, and petroleum. It depends on who the leader is. Are we going to spin our wheels and keep the military machine rolling, or are we going to focus on our own country, and make ourselves as independent as possible. How much oil is in the ground? This is where I fail, since I don't know that answer off the top of my head. But when everyone on this planet is using a combined 1000 barrels of oil per SECOND, like we are, no amount of reserves can last very long. It depends on how responsible India and China will be. And it looks like they're copycats of America. And why wouldn't they be? It's comfortable to live like us. But that only makes the situation spiral downward even faster. And then there's global warming. Is it actually occurring faster than predicted? Are we going to have major disasters before we're even prepared?

Nobody knows the answers. But we do use a lot of our oil for driving cars and for transporting goods. Bikes could make a difference. But this society is so far from entertaining that thought, I doubt it'll happen. I come from a family where my dad commuted by bike for years. Ten miles each way. I did the same. But we're freaks. And those were the days when there were only a quarter of the number of cars on the road. I drive to the store where I would normally ride my bike, just because there are so damned many cars. But what a great society it would be if we were all on bikes. I dream of it. Healthier, quieter.

I think we're at the point where we are aware of the situation. I doubt we'll be seeing supercharged cars on showroom floors like we did in the 90's. But we have big problems ahead. Like how to keep our houses warm without draining the petroleum supply. I suppose we'll start thinking about nuclear. And we'll start putting up photovoltaics, and thermal hydronic systems. Slowly we'll come around. People won't have houses at 75 degrees. We'll wear sweaters, and keep the temperature at 60. Stuff like that. But what if we do see sudden supply decreases, and China and India start hogging the oil? Then we start scrambling. And none of this even addresses the economic impacts of petroleum dependence. I don't see light at the end of this tunnel. Had we started working toward independence in 1970, like I thought we would, we'd have been far more prepared right now.

It's all blabbing in a way. The only thing we really know is that it's not unlimited, and it's not cheap any more. And we can't continue for long without melting down the planet.

Here's that video. It's an hour long. If you get a chance, you might look at it. It really answers a lot of questions.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=487885674829791...
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