Last night I saw on the news that the largest oil reserve in the world, in Saudi Arabia, is going dry sooner than they had expected. The oil left is so low they are having to pump in sea water to force the remaining oil out. It has OPEC up in arms and is very important for global politics and economics.
I have been waiting for this bad news for a long time but have not written this article until I got the news because I knew most people wouldn't pay any attention to it until we got the bad news. It should only be common sense that there is only so much oil in the world and that, some day, we will run out....and then what? We need to start thinking and planning about that now that the crises is just up the road.
Over the next 20 to 30 years, our world will change at least as much as it did in the first 60 years of the automobile. For decades now, they have been promising us a new form of energy but we are still using gasoline because everything else will be much more expensive than gas is now. We will continue using gas until it becomes more expensive than another source of energy which we can use for transportation. This should tell you that the next source of energy we can use for transportation will be more expensive than gas at $2.00+ per gallon. It is the economics that will change everything we know.
First, you have to understand this is the reason we are fighting this global war against "terrorism". You see, the Arabic countries are in a real fix and they know it. When their oil is gone, all they will have left for resources in their countries is sand and we wont need that much glass in this world.
These countries made a strategic financial error decades ago. Instead of investing in and developing their countries to continue to prosper after they ran out of oil, they began investing in other countries so that most of their money and resources are tied up in the other countries of the world. Add to this that they were not exactly nice to the rest of the world when they had power over us because of an abundance of oil. After these countries run out of oil, all the rest of the countries around the world will have to do in order to return the Arabic countries back to their former poverty will be to nationalize all of the Arabic holdings in our countries. When they run out of oil, the shoe will be on the other foot and many countries see this as pay back time.
The Arab leaders know this and they have set another strategy of trying to seize control of our countries so we can't nationalize their holdings and possessions. This is why we are currently at war with the Muslims. The Arab leaders are using Islam to conquer the rest of the world so they won't go broke the day after the wells go dry.
This strategy leaves us both in a quandary. If we win WWIII, they go broke forever. If they win WWIII, we get conquered and slaughtered in the name of Islam. Therefore, we have to win to survive.
Even if we win this global war, things will change forever. Energy will keep getting more expensive until the supply equals the demand with a new energy source. Increasingly fewer of us will be able to afford to commute to work so that we will either have to move closer to work or find work closer to home. For some this will be solved by the Internet but it also means that our cities must shrink horizontally and grow vertically with some suburbs becoming independent cities. Innovative inner city developers will create super condominiums which will be micro cities within the city so you can do most of your shopping without leaving your housing unit.
We will have to designate increasingly larger areas of our cities as HPV zones (Human Powered Vehicle.) This is already starting to take place in areas like Northern California and the zones will be in two basic systems. One will be paths or roads designated for HPV use and the other will be entire areas such as down towns or business complexes.
The media are telling us about a number of potential alternate fuels but you have to realize that converting this much consumption to any fuel will increase the price for that fuel and any related industries. For example, agrifuels will increase the demand for farm land usage which will increase the price on foods and all agricultural products like cotton or wool clothing. If we convert just a fraction of the current automobile usage to agrifuels, it will drive the price of food so high that many people will starve to death in just the US.
A few years ago, the people in California got a first hand lesson in energy economics when their electricity was short changed just a little. Suddenly electricity became so expensive that they had to ration use going without things like air conditioners and TV. If we were to convert even a fraction of our automobile usage to electricity, many people would have to give up all electric luxuries including the refrigerator.
Suddenly, all of these promised alternate fuels don't sound so hot. At least not as hot as the media tell us. The current "fuel of the future" is hydrogen gas. They tell us that there is more than enough hydrogen in the oceans to meet our needs for hundreds of years. What they are not telling you is that they still have not figured out where they will get the energy to turn that much sea water into hydrogen gas. They do have a PROMISING solution for storing the gas if we ever can make it. They have developed a new metal that absorbs hydrogen gas like a sponge absorbs water but they are still working on it and require some more development time.
They tell us that the hydrogen engines will produce harmless water vapor but they have not considered a potential problem. What will happen when we start pumping that much water vapor into our atmosphere? In areas with high traffic, we will rapidly drive the humidity to 100% on a daily basis which will result in frequent and violent rain storms during warmer weather and blizzards and ice storms during colder weather. Massive flooding will become a daily problem in areas with large populations and winter storms will kill many.
Our weather will be greatly changed, the planet will cool off, and we could cause an ice age. Especially now that China is industrializing so rapidly with millions more motorists annually.
The simple fact is that we will have to either move closer to work or find work closer to home and stop using our automobiles as much. This will pack most of us into smaller areas where we are just going to have to learn to get along and will be forced to change our lives. Most of our recreation will be done within the cities.
The positive perspective is that we will get to experience new and different lives. Those of us who face this inevitable future and adapt will be most likely to prosper. Those who fail to plan or resist the change will be left behind. Those will be our two choices because this is already starting to happen. The crisis cometh quickly.