Most experts now agree that ‘Hubbert’s Peak’ — the point at which world oil production starts to decline—has either already passed or will occur within the next year or so. Some of the world’s largest fields, in Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Kuwait, have already peaked. (U.S. production peaked 30 years ago.)
Even as oil and gas production are declining, consumption continues at an increasing rate. Simple arithmetic tells you that this won’t work, that shortages and outages are not just a possibility, they are inevitable. With them come continually-rising prices.
The end of cheap fossil-fuel energy is not a remote possibility — it is a certainty, and it will be upon us before we know it. This is the end of an era, and it will almost certainly affect every aspect of your life and that of your family.
Are you ready for this new world?
Ask yourself these questions about how much of your daily life is based on the availability of cheap fossil fuel:
- Do you assume that you can hop in your car whenever you need to go somewhere or get something?
- Do you rely on fuel being delivered to keep your house warm?
- Does your food supply depend on commercial fertilizers and pesticides that come from oil and natural gas?
- Is your food transported from hundreds or thousands of miles away?
- Do you use clothing and other products that are shipped thousands of miles?
- How will you adapt when plastics — almost all of which are derived from oil — are no longer readily inexpensive and available?
- If you work, do you commute to work by car — and what will you do when the fuel shortages and high prices of the 1970s return in a more extreme form?
- Will your employer and job be able to survive in an era of soaring prices and frequent shortages?
How will the coming change affect your children and grandchildren?
We need to start now to work out how we will deal with life beyond oil so that they have a future, too.
What can your community do to protect itself from the worst-case scenarios?
What questions do you need to ask about food production and distribution, transportation, employment, housing, education, and government itself?
If you live in the Lehigh Valley, contact the Alliance’s energy task force or Lehigh Valley Beyond Oil to see what you can do to help prepare for the new world that is coming.