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View Diary: Shrinking BigOil - The Economist on oil (I) - the smart stuff (31 comments)

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  •  Kinda silly (none)
    The longer America keeps depending on oil is less time we have to develop something to take its place

    maybe less motivation, but days are the same length either way.  Unless you assume the world will go dark like the flipping of a switch when that last bbl is pumped which is also not going to happen.

    He said that we would run out of water to drink before we ran oil.  If you think about it, it makes sense.

    Also off base.  Perhaps we run short of cheap, clean water, but with energy you can make potable water from the sea...  In the US, if we just patch water mains, stop irrigating deserts for non critical crops and quit watering landscapes we'd be fine on water for as far as the eye can see.

    •  Lived long enough (none)
      I have been around long enough to have lived through long gas lines in this country in the 70's.  Price gouging was rampant.  People panicked and got into fights in gas lines.  Cities handed out rules on using electricty.  Street lamps were cut off and we were contantly having power surges.  I lost my main breaker box and AC to a surge.  I remember having a Christmas when people were urged to not put out lights outside. It may not go out with the flip of a switch but you'd be amazed at what a small loss will do.  Blackouts are a bad thing, try living through months of mandatory black outs.  

      My current electric bill is almost as high as it's every been in the hottest summer months. When we had temps of 115 to 120, my bill only hit $300 that month.  I'm at $250 and it's not even hot yet.  Most of my bill is for the fuel surcharge to pay to make the electricity.  The higher fuel goes, the more we pay for everything.  Everything we buy has to be transported to the stores.  When fuel goes up, we pay higher prices.  So we are paying over and over again for that oil.

      As to water, have you ever lived through a drought?  I have and they aren't pleasant.  I lived on a farm and we had a windmill.  There was nothing but heat and no wind.  My father had to pay to get water hauled in so we could live and the livestock would survive.

      I lived through another one in the 70's.  I live in the country and we are last in line for water.  Our water from one lake is shared by many cities.  The larger cities get their share first.  In 1976 they would turn the water on at 6 am and it would go off within 30 minutes to an hour.  Some days we had none.  We went for a week with no water.  If we were lucky, we had water long enough at least 3 days a week to fill up the bathtub and all our water jugs.  

      It got so bad that businesses in town removed their outside water faucets because people were coming by at night and filling up jugs.  

      My county lives under a burn ban most of the time.  It's gotten so bad that they've passed a law that we can't have any kind of open fire after dark.  The fire departments are trying to conserve water.  In the summer, our water smells so bad with chemicals that I can't brush my teeth with it.  There are days when I have to hold my breath in the shower because it smells like I'm bathing in clorax.  We haven't had enough rain fall this year and it's going to be another year of mandatory water rationing for us.  I had to give up gardening for this reason.  Once the temps go over 100, we'll have less and less water pressure.  We will get up in the morning, hoping there will be water.  It's time to empty out my 20 gallons of water that I stored last summer and put fresh water in.  I do this every year.

      Everything we take for granted can be lost.  People during the Great Depression never thought they'd see a time like that.  Droughts turned the midwest into dust bowls.  People lost their farms because they couldn't grown anything which meant no crops to sell to pay the bills.  People couldn't find work so it didn't matter if there were goods to buy.  They couldn't afford them.  Even if they could find work, they couldn't make enough to live on.

      My Great Grandmother died at my Grandparents home during the depression.  They wanted to send her body back to North Texas so she could be buried next to my Great Grandfather.  Between my Grandfather's ten siblings, they couldn't raise enough money to send her body back.

      We never seem to learn from history and it tends to repeat itself over and over.  Just when you think all is well, it can turn on a dime and bite you in the butt.


      •  Astonishing isn't it? (none)
        I am also astonished at the wasteful ways that seem to have become normal.
        As a side note-- I have a dead tree atlas that shows the Arabian Peninsula- it is circa 1965- one of the ones that shows little icons according to what resources are there. Little boxcars and such for ore, and whatnot.
        On the Arabian peninsula in that atlas there is NOTHING. Nothing at all. I thought that was very interesting.No little oil wells or anything.So  according to Time-Life books-- there was nothing there-- then. Interesting ,no?

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