I am not into conspiracy theories, and apocalyptic nonsense. I am not a survivalist who is hoarding canned food and moving to the mountains.
But I have started reading James Howard Kunstler's book, The Long Emergency, and he is pointing out in this book that our society and world as we know it is on the brink of some drastic, radical, and extremely significant changes because of the exhaustion of fossil fuels.
What are the implications of the increasing expense and unavailability of fossil fuels for the civilization which we have created? The consequences are enormous with our suburban sprawl, reliance on the automobile, and move from an agriculture society to one where the very daily food we eat must be transported to us from distant places on vehicles relying almost exclusively on fossil fuel for their energy.
In the last few months, I have seen gasoline in my area go up over 50 cents a gallon. In my daily paper, there are articles where the farmers (the primary industry in Genesee County, NY is farming) are talking about how they are worried that they will not be able to make any money this growing season because of the high cost of fuel to power their tractors and other farm equipment and get their produce to market. The independent truckers are complaining that they are being run out of business because they cannot afford diesel fuel.
The United States has only about 3% of the known fossil fuel reserves in the world while it consumes over 25% of the world's fossil fuel resources. The amount of fossil fuel is finite. When we humans use it up, it is gone. What will we do?
We will have to make huge adjustments in our life styles and our ways of doing business with one another. What might some of these adjustments be? Already we are seeing huge economic problems beginning to develop. Without resources people cannot live where they used to live, do what they used to do, and take for granted the life style to which we have become accustomed.
Will these changes bring about bankruptcies, scarcity leading to disease, war, death, and more provincial, defensive local economies and communities?
We shall see. In the meantime, it is important for us to wake up from our taken for granted sleep, and think ahead to what life without fossil fuels might mean.
I recommend Mr. Kunstler's book if you are looking for some thought provoking reading. You can click on the link below for some immediate information about this issue on the Internet.