“Peak Oil Will Reverse Globalization.” –“The End Of Suburbia”

YouTube it.  “The End Of Suburbia.”  Dedicate an hour of your time to examining one opinion on how we got to this place, and how we will deal with it when oil is no longer cheap.

See, “Peak Oil” describes the the concept that we have turned a corner with oil production.  The jist of this movie is simply this:  the suburbs–and subsequently, the “American Dream”–were only able to exist because oil was cheaper than drinking water, back in the day.  In the future, when oil becomes prohibitively expensive, people will find ways to live nearer to work, and to learn to grow their won food–out of no other  reason than sheer necessity.  

The “peak” that is described refers to us being on the downward slide of the amount of oil the planet has to give us, that we have already reached the peak amount it will yield.  The problem is that as oil in the ground is becoming harder to find and process, it costs more to produce.  This drives the price up, as the extra costs will be passed on to the consumer.  We are seeing this already in this country, as gas prices seemingly rise at the slightest wisp of the wind blowing.    Think about it.  If oil weren’t becoming harder to find, would we have to be investing money into fracking?  The answer is no.  We have picked all (or a large amount) of the low-hanging fruit already, and that’s why we have had to find other means of oil production.  Why else would we be setting up oil wells which can drill over 15,000 feet down?

I found the movie to be a fascinating take on the future of life in America.  I used to think it was a bunch of liberal propaganda that these things could happen (and a lot of it still is–thanks for that, Al), but even now, times are only just beginning to get tough.  Many believe (as I did) that the gas price hikes of the summer of 2008 were price gouging and caused by those dastardly speculators, when in truth the speculators actually stemmed the bleeding, so to speak.  The fact is that if the oil market was truly free, price fluctuations would have been far more violent than they were.  It’s dry reading, but if you can digest it, US News and World Report explained it here.

No one knows the stats accurately on how much of that good-old-earl is left in the ground, but the truth is that oil is becoming harder to find, and we don’t produce enough of it to support ourselves, let alone anyone else.  Chalk it up to one more area the US is not competitive in, and it’s easy to see why we are falling as the world’s top economy.  China and India have finally found their stride, and soon their populations (which are three and four times that of ours) will bring demand far higher than our own in the next fifty years.  Guess what that means–yep, dwindling supply and rising demand will make the $7.00 a gallon that the EU is used to look like a bargain.

Back to the idea of the end of suburbia.  Frankly, this idea should satisfy conservatives and liberals alike, though extremists on both ends of the spectrum will trumpet different aspects.  For the far-lefties, the stoppage of urban sprawl will finally make them feel warm and fuzzy, because in a roundabout way it accomplishes what their favorite wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing has “inconveniently” spouted about how our way of life is hurting the planet.  For the far-righties, it will come down to learning the things we would have had to learn in the event of a revolution, without having had to go through one.  We’d have to learn how to grow food, how to field prep a deer, etc.  We’d have to live much more closely to work, we’d have to get to know our neighbors once more, and actually work together to accomplish the goals of our village (since no one else will).  Whether we like it or not, once oil gets to a level where we can no longer afford to have its cost attached to every product we buy, simple things like growing your own lettuce will be more economical than paying out the nose for it at a grocery store.

Some of you may disagree with my stance on this movie, but I found it to be an interesting (and very possible) outcome of the realigning of our society once the oil runs out.

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  1. So, have you ordered your Nissan Leaf?

    • LOL Nah…I haven’t turned into some loon about it, I just found it a fascinating possibility that things will so radically change. In fact, my next car will be a 370Z!

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