Will Oil Bring Us To The Brink?

I strongly fear a rising conflict within the borders of the United States of America. The source of the conflict is oil availability. The growing US economy has the force of a glacier with the ability to move and change the face of our entire society. However, the same force teeters on a razor’s edge with respect to our need for oil. The economic machine needs energy and oil is that key ingredient. The time is quickly approaching when our reliance on a non-renewable resource will usher in a dark age in American history and sustainable alternatives will need to be seriously considered. Many people believe that the US’s increase in technology and the number of crude oil reserves available around the world can prevent an oil crisis. Others believe the crisis is so far in the future that it should not be the worried about in the present, a belief that perhaps most Americans have because of their inability to access unbiased information. As a result it is difficult to expect a citizen to know how to change their behavior. It is true that technology is constantly expanding in the US, but the advances are misdirected in such a fashion that efficiency is replaced by comfort. SUVs have gained prominence as luxury automobiles, desired by everyone even though they lack fuel efficiency. Gas prices in the US are the lowest worldwide but even as prices for fuel rise our society’s response is to simply dish out more money rather than look at the problem. Oil production in the US peaked in the 1970’s. Since then, the length to which our government has gone to secure oil in foreign land is painfully clear (perhaps even understandable). In fact, Americans have to start believing that we are in an oil crisis. Presently, I think the most dangerous aspect of an oil crisis is the impact it will have on US food production? For this reason I believe that when an oil crisis does manifest it is going to hit the US hardest. The US imports 6.8 million barrels of oil in a single day. Without this huge supply for our oil-reliant country how are we going to maintain our food production industry? John Locke wrote that humans would remain civil to one another as long as required resources are available to all. In an individualistic society like the US, I feel that I am justified in my fear that if food becomes readily unavailable people would be willing to harm one another to obtain it.

The US dependence on oil whether it is foreign or domestic, is a weakness. Before an economy can grow it should first make sure that its growth can be sustainable and can flow into a long-term stretch. If sustainable methods are not adopted by the US to support our economy the only ending for us will be total collapse. Now is the time for our country not only to acknowledge our current condition but to build toward changes.

Individualism must move toward community-oriented ideas. Our society has both the power and the will to solve our problems. However, do we lack the required foresight or capabilities to sacrifice our oil dependent lives? Can we change the ways we live, work and play to become more sustainable? A better future is out there for our country. It is achievable and when we finally do make it there we will wonder how we could have ever lived the way we did. So, how can you improve your life and take a new step toward sustainable living? Can you give up driving your car for a day, eating meat for a week, or watching television for a month?–