My Thoughts on World Oil

I like to write about everyday happenings in my life but occasionally I like to pursue ‘deep’ topics that are near and dear to my heart.  Peak Oil is one of them.  “Peak Oil” is the point at which the production of conventional crude oil begins an irreversible decline.  The effect of this is that scarcity-induced price increases will require huge changes in modern industrial societies.

I can barely remember the 1973 oil crisis of the seventies as I lived in an apartment and we had an old ’65 Chevelle, which we filled up for about $0.36 (yes that’s cents) a gallon!  I actually had to research that oil crisis online to refresh my memory.  I am really in my infancy when it comes to knowledge about the world’s oil, peak oil, all the products made of oil, and how all this affects every single one of us in every aspect of our lives, now and in the future.   Let me share with you what I’ve learned, because knowledge is power.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fanatic, just an informed citizen!

One thing for sure is that “the 1973 ‘oil price shock’, along with the 1973-1974 stock market crash, have been regarded as the first ever event since the Great Depression to have a persistent economic effect.”* –  the price of oil suddenly quadrupled…..to $12 US a barrel…..oooooooh (sarcastic).  The developed world had been used to inexpensive fossil fuels since the second world war and created a life around it.  I watched a video recently about the relationship between cheap fossil fuels and how it has moulded our entire lives.  I was astounded to learn that the auto industry was instrumental in

Our Post WWII House 1955

the development of post WWII suburban subdivisions and financed building the roads leading to them – to sell more cars which used all that cheap oil.  After the deprivation during the war, people wanted stuff and lots of it, from homes in the suburbs and everything that went in them to shiny new cars to get them there. (if anyone knows of the video I’m referring to, please share the link).  It made ME think about how my parents, us, and our childrens’ generations have been manipulated for profit…..mind boggling!

Just about everything in our lives has a connection to oil:  from the food we eat, the plates we eat it on, every day containers, beauty products…..not just fuel for our vehicles.  Oil is utilized in most products either in the making of them, actually an ingredient in them, or transporting them.

.......from far, far away

Oil has such a profound influence on our lives, so can you imagine what life would be like with much less oil?  It’s a known fact that the world has already reached its maximum production of oil.  The Oil Sands project in Alberta is an example of how much harder it will be to extract oil from the ground…..and how much more expensive it’s about to get for less oil.  Can you imagine our world with fewer products we presently rely on?  Less fuel, albiet more and more expensive to purchase, to warm homes, transport food and goods, and get people from all those suburbs to their jobs?

So what is a person to do?  Are there ways to simply decrease our personal dependence on oil?  Yes!  First, BUY LESS STUFF!   It’s pretty simple that the less we consume, the less oil utilized because producing and transporting nothing uses nothing…..duh!  It’s a real learning curve to buy less stuff than you are used to, either out of habit or convenience.  Secondly, BUY LOCAL.  Anything!  Everything!  That’s a no-brainer.  Yes for sure it takes time to source out local goods and services, but I think WE and our world are worth it.  Back in the old days, 70-80 years ago, most goods and services were local.  NOTHING came from China.   Every town and city area had its own bakery, cobbler, creamery, mill, cheese factory, cabinet-maker, and farmers market.  My Nana Lil told us that back in the ’20s and ’30s most people in her city neighbourhood had a few chickens in their backyard and a big garden, feeding families much larger than today.  Anybody can have a garden!

Spring 2011 new 'Kitchen Garden'

Apartment dwellers can rent a plot from the city for a nominal fee and homeowners can turn any patch of grass into a garden.  Third, I feel we need to SIMPLIFY.  I shake my head when I see a new gadget ‘invented’ to do the same job of another – and people feel they NEED to have it.   And of course, DRIVE LESS.  There are many other ways to reduce our dependence on oil.

Like I said before, I’m just learning about all this oil stuff.  It’s very thought-provoking and is instilling a sense of committment to our planet in a greater sense than once a year on Earth Day.  Thanks for listening to my rant……..  and next time, I promise, I’ll post a recipe!

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis#cite_note-Perron1988-2The

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Just another day on the farm
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 12:56:28

    Wonderful post on peek oil, amazing photos, great looking horse, its one of the reason that I am raising my milk cow to also be a trained draft animal.

    Reply

  2. Maureen Sinclair
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 13:54:05

    Very well said Cuz & oh so true.

    Reply

  3. Betty
    Feb 25, 2012 @ 09:47:39

    Great blog!!…. I look so forward to reading them!!… BUT…..Where did you get those pics??!!!… I thought I had all the old pics!!…. I want copies!!!… It even looks like I might be in one of them!!… cuz as you know – there were tons of pictures of Faye cuz she was the first-born…. and very few of me as our mother and father were much busier now taking care of 2 of us… and then when you came along… and being such a little cute-sie…and also with the invention of “new” fandangled cameras…. lots of pictures were taken of you!!!…LOL… and YES… This middle child is crying the blues!!…

    k… now getting back to your subject of oil…. and reducing the amount of stuff we buy as consumers… I, myself have vowed that I will NOT buy anything new this year (with the exception of socks and underwear… that is where I draw the line on buying second hand!!!)… Here – where I live – there are INCREDIBLE second-hand stores that allow one to buy ANYTHING gently used that you would buy new in a big-box store… Almost every piece of furniture in my home is second-hand… I have down-sized my entire house… and continue my goal to pass whatever I am not using or haven’t used/worn in a while – on to someone else…. The computer I am using to type this is also second-hand!!! I want to become STUFF-LESS!!

    I believe in my endeavour to become “stuff-less”, I am doing my part to lessen MY personal dependence on oil…

    Thanks for reading… Love ya sista…
    P.S. I haven’t heard back from you re my comments on the N. Drew books!!… LOL…

    Reply

    • grammomsblog
      Feb 25, 2012 @ 10:12:34

      “STUFF-LESS” – I love that phrase!
      I have alot of old pictures from the ’50s as I’ve created photo albums since I was about 10 years old. In that horse picture above, you are the child on the right, I’m sitting on the roof of the car, and Faye’s petting the horse.
      P.S. ……about those N Drew books: It’s a family collection which I’ve contributed to……alot. LOL

      Reply

  4. grammomsblog
    Feb 27, 2012 @ 21:16:45

    From Glenn: I am on left side of horse near window. I believe Lester traded his motorcycle for the Model A or T.

    Reply

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