A World Without Oil
How much do you depend on oil, petroleum, gasoline?
Are cars a necessary evil?
Have you eliminated driving from your life?
Do want to maintain your ability to travel the world?
World Without Oil was a game and thought exercise in 2007.
This game compelled ‘players’ to imagine and write what their lives might be like if there was some kind of oil shock.
The thought exercise of World Without Oil is a valuable one.
Thinking about the fragility of our oil dependent systems encourages an important review of how we might become more secure in a world where motorized power should not be taken for granted.
You don’t own a vehicle? You bike or walk everywhere? That’s great!
But, your commendable effort does not mean that you have escaped the problems that face an oil dependent system.
Where does your food, electricity, heat, and technology come from?
Unfortunately, unless you’re an off-grid hermit with a self-sufficient system, you are probably dependent on oil to some degree.
This doesn’t seem fair.
What can you do about it?
You can begin to develop a more contained, self-supporting system.
You don’t have to do all of this yourself, connect with others within your community and work towards solutions to these problems.
- Food– Get more involved in food production. If you’re producing food, you don’t need to depend on vulnerable fuel dependent systems to feed you (remember. you eat approximately 3 times a day).
- Shelter (and Heat)– Discover how much your home depends on services that are provided through the use of fossil fuels. Find alternatives.
- Electricity– Obtain the ability to locally produce electricity.
- Water– Does your water supply depend on electricity or some kind of fossil fuel generated power? You might be surprised. It would be wise to change to water supply system which does not require petroleum or grid electricity.
- Work– Would you be able to get to your job if you didn’t have gasoline? Would you be able to perform your work without gasoline?
- Social/Family– Without oil, would you be able to visit your friends and family? Are the people who make your life worth living within walking distance?
These are some of the issues that should be considered when it comes to oil vulnerability.
Why should you think about these things?
Solutions will present themselves before we run out of oil… humans were fine before oil, changing back won’t be that hard… Peak oil is a conspiracy to promote exploitative ‘green industries’. ~Right?!~
These are possible. It is possible that everything will be fine. It’s possible that some solution will be presented before we are ever forced to reconcile our imbalanced dependency on oil which is most likely finite.
But, why gamble on optimism when we can just as easily hedge against a multitude of very likely risks?
What likely risks threaten our oil dependent systems? Let’s count the ways:
- Social-Political Factors. If supply is disrupted by a significant social or political event, sure, there may be a ‘plenty’ of oil on the planet_ but its price could suddenly inflate in a way which makes it too expensive for 50% of people or even 99% of people. Which would explode the price of food, products, and nearly all services.
- Environmental Disaster. Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Tsunamis, and other disasters could easily impact supply chains in such a way which would limit oil access.
- Technological Breakdown. Oil extraction and processing uses more complex and technical processes every day which leave it vulnerable to wide-reaching technical failure and cyber attacks.
- Peak Oil. Simply, There probably will be a point where oil demand exceeds oil production. This would create a rapid, if not sudden, inflation of oil prices.
- Other Resource Depletion. Oil extraction and processing is dependent on a large network of resources and it is likely that some key component may become scarce, therefore crippling the production or distribution of oil.
Here are Five reasons for a migration away from an oil-dependent lifestyle.
Does it still seem like something too big for you to address?
Here are some easy fixes:
- If you work in an oil-dependent industry find a different job. (In keeping with the theme of this series: If your job, your labor, your work, does not produce Food, Shelter, Water, Information, Electricity, Mobility, or Wellness. Your job is probably unnecessary.)
- If your lifestyle is oil-dependent, move and change other habits so that your essentials are not based upon fossil fuel transport.
- REMEMBER! PRODUCE MORE THAN YOU CONSUME! Oil is not the only way to fuel a combustion engine. Methane, Ethanol, Biodiesel, and other fuel sources can be produced locally. There are small systems which you or your local community could assemble which would meet your basic fuel needs. Remember: Doing less bad is not really a solution– Create alternatives.
- Reach out within your community and find others who are looking to reduce their oil dependency. Work together for alternatives.
FoxMoon Haven is still dependent on oil, this year, in 2015. But, we are working with engineers so that we may produce our own fuel from our own crops_ locally (not the inefficient corn ethanol model). We are preparing to install methane systems so that we can harvest the fuel produced on site by humans and livestock. Once we become more familiar with these systems, we hope to share these techniques with others.
Fuel sovereignty and robust systems won’t be obtained overnight, but the challenges are worth the time and effort. We’d love to help you however we might. Let us know if you’re interested in working together.
Thanks for reading,