Out of Oil?

What if the world’s oil supply were to run out? Optimistic projections predict that peak oil production will occur in about 10 years, others say we have already passed that peak. Given that world demand for oil is increasing daily, this means that oil production will soon have a tough time keeping up, and oil supplies could very well dry up within the next century, if not sooner.

According to the very depressing documentary "A Crude Awakening”, that day may not be as far off as we all think or hope it is.

How would we cope?

Thankfully our electricity provider, BC Hydro, generates 90% of our electricity using renewable sources (currently mainly hydroelectric), so we won’t be completely left out in the cold. But demand for electricity will increase as people switch from fossil fuels towards electricity to heat their homes and run their cars, and this may leave the electric companies struggling to keep up with demand.

The only people who will not be directly affected in this sort of situation are those who are truly off-grid, independently generating all of their own energy – those with alternative energy systems who are also running electric vehicles or using bicycles to get around.

Consider also the effect such an energy crisis would have on your stock market portfolio – it would be like the great depression all over again! All businesses require energy, so with skyrocketing energy prices businesses struggle and fail, not to mention what happens when their energy is no longer available.

In that case, the only safe investments are those you have made for your own independence. So while the world around you is in chaos, you are living life as usual and driving your electric car around. All of a sudden those solar panels don’t seem so expensive anymore!

Personally I don’t think it would be as bad as that documentary makes it out to be. As it is right now, it’s just so cheap and convenient to burn fuel as we drive to the store, but when gas prices get out of reach it won’t be such a hardship to ride a bicycle – especially when you don’t have to fight vehicles and exhaust fumes as the majority of people start cycling as well. For longer distances I’m sure that electric cars will very quickly become cheap and plentiful as the demand for fossil fuel powered cars drops. Similarly with mass demand and mass production we’ll see renewable energy systems become affordable household items that everyone can have on their roof.

As for all of the plastics that require fossil fuels in their manufacture, there are already green alternatives available for many such products, and with some ingenuity I have no doubt that green solutions will quickly fill in where needed.

It’s too bad that the world isn’t switching to those solutions already – obviously oil is still too cheap!

Hugs and happiness,

-Nico, The West Coast Hippie