The title was a
little extremist, and ridiculously overdramatic in terms of both number figure and timeline, yes, but now you're here, so...
TL;DR version: If we don't stop consuming oil as if it's an endless supply of energy (like we do today), half of the Earth's population is going to be wiped out due to starvation and the other half is going to live in socially debilitating poverty.
Here's some rules that I told myself and am going to start following:
1. Smarten the fuck up and start walking or at least buy a bike, rollerblades, or a Prius.
2. Stop buying a new car every other year.
3. If you have clothes that fit you and can last the week without having to do another wash, that's fucking plenty. Who gives a shit if your Old Navy jeans aren't "in" right now.
4. Don't support the oil-guzzling fast food companies by eating there fucking three times a week -- you also won't get too fat for your clothes and fail at #3.
Now if I've got your attention and you'd like to educate yourself, here's some science:
I was watching this movie, Crude Impact, and it reminded me of a journal I wrote a while ago about how for the first
90 kajillion roughly 10,000 years since the world was created, the dead life whether that be animals or plants eventually turned into oil, which produces the same energy as the sun, but to a much greater degree. It took 9,800 years (1800 AD) for us to reach a population of 1 billion but once we discovered oil, it only took 130 years in 1930 to double that; then only 30 years later in 1960, 3 billion; 4 billion 14 years later in 1974; 5 billion 13 years later in 1987; 6 billion 12 years later in 1999; and finally 6.5 billion - 7 billion people on Earth today.
So we're just consuming more and more oil, producing and buying more and more stuff, yet we're not getting any happier than we were 50 years ago, according to polls conducted since the 1950's on satisfaction and the standard of living, and we're going to run out extremely soon, very plausibly within my lifetime. If you don't believe it, wake up; countries the world over have been reporting less and less oil discovery and production in the last 40 years at an alarming rate, and because of this, there's wars being fought all over the eastern world for oil.
The U.S. comprises 4.5% of the Earth's population, yet 25% of day to day oil consumption is due to the U.S. Every 1.7 Americans have a car, yet every 117 Chinese people have one.
So get a Prius or start walking.
If we don't smarten the fuck up, we're going to run out of oil, and, historically, the sun producing all energy by itself will only have enough energy to support two billion people comfortably, and maybe three billion if they all lived in poverty.
I'm talking about multiple families sharing homes fit for one family, rationed food, definitely no restaurants, no unnecessary products such as chips, pop, popcorn, chocolate, candy, T.V.s, Xboxs, exercise machines, instruments, cars -- literally every unnecessary product that consumes oil in its production will be discontinued and all energy consumption will be focused on the production of pasteurized milk, regulated (checked for safety) burgers, chicken, bread, soup, etc. and none of these products will even have brand names because advertising the name of the company that produces the shit won't fucking matter when slapping a label on anything adds to oil consumption.
I'll even go so far as to say that the governments will demand their citizens to forfeit unnecessary household items so those materials could be recycled and also used for energy to produce more.
I never want to live like that, and I'm sure as shit positive that you don't want to either, so if we can all just compromise between the disgusting over-consumption that's being practiced in the major commercial countries such as Canada, England, France, and the U.S. especially, and the poverty that awaits us -- if we can find that middle ground, we never will have to like that.
Post edited 5/19/09 10:54PM