I hate to steal a line from the movie, There Will Be Blood, but this post is about oil. And since the quote explains how one character has been sucking up the oil from another's land, it seems fitting. The question I want to pose in today's post is this: have the last few generations essentially stolen the oil resources from future generations?
I've started reading James Howard Kunstler's, The Long Emergency, and, although I haven't gotten very far yet, I've been struck by the thought that over the last 150 years or so our generation and the few ones preceding it have taken one of the Earth's greatest resources and completely squandered it. On the most inane crap.
Granted, the industrial revolution and the industry, discoveries and innovation that were fueled by petroleum have been phenomenal in a number of ways. And, it certainly can be argued that during most of this time it was unknown how much oil existed underground, so I suppose we should give ourselves just a tiny bit of a break. But, on the other hand, we have taken what took millions of years to create and used it for suchly highly laudable activities such as driving around in behemoth vehicles to purchase cheap plastic crap and generally indulge ourselves in whatever flights of fancy it afforded.
Well, party people, methinks the fantasy is coming to a close. The age of petroleum is on the down slope. Now, being Ms. Positively, I'm fairly certain that there will be some sort of energy replacement. We most definitely won't be living as high on the energy hog anymore, but I don't believe that destitution and civil unrest is a guarantee as a result. But, either way, it distresses me that the billions of barrels of oil that we had at our disposal was used (outside a few innovations) for such stupid means.
Why didn't anyone have the forethought to conserve this amazing resource? Of those who did, why didn't anyone listen to them? Why do we still not listen to them and blithely piss away what we have left on "gas efficient" personal SUVs and trucks (now getting an amazing 20 MPG!), pleasure travel, extra trips to the store, etc. etc. ad naseum.
It's as if humanity had been handed this most valuable and precious item and all we did with it was ruin our atmosphere, water and wildlife and got fat in the process. I suppose it just shows how ridiculously self-serving and short-sighted we are. It makes me angry that we've taken something that could have potentially lasted thousands of years and just drank it up with the same amount of greed and ambition and paranoia as the character in the movie I quoted from above.
Have any of you thought of peak oil in this context or am I just lagging behind?