As I mentioned the other day, our town rated badly in a report produced by the Institute for Sensible Transport titled, “Oil Vulnerability in Melbourne – Research Project“, which describes our plight when oil prices inevitable rise. Being Mr Sustainable in our town, the local press were quick to contact me for a comment regarding the impact that this might have on our community and how we could prepare.
You can read the article called, “Report calls for change ahead of petrol price hike“. Any press about Peak Oil is good press as far as I am concerned, and can only awaken people to what lays ahead.
Well, of course they didn’t print any of my thoughts about Peak Oil, just some figures that I rattled off regarding the cost of commuting by car vs train. At least they painted the fuel economy of my Hybrid in a good light, but I believe that most people would realise that it is more economical to run a 1.3 litre, 4 cylinder Petrol/Electric Hybrid than a petrol guzzling 5 litre V8! Well maybe not all, because I felt that I had to connect the dots when speaking to the reporter, so maybe the average punter would have the same issue of understanding.
Also, not one mention of why oil prices were going to rise. Maybe it is all just a little bit scary to tell the average person on the street that the age of cheap oil is over, and that we are on the rock downhill slope of decline. More motor vehicle transportation infrastructure will not solve the problem, especially new Free-ways, as the days of happy motoring have nearly finished. We have no immediate replacement for oil as a transportation fuel that doesn’t rely on more energy to produce it than it actually provides us. that is the beauty (if you can call it that) of oil. It was extremely cheap to extract, energy dense stuff, easy to transport and store. There has never been an energy source quite like it in human history.
Anyway, it will come as a massive shock to most folks as this fiesta comes to a close. This is why it is so urgent to curb carbon emissions because as soon as energy becomes a scarcity, we will not have the resources or capital to combat the effects of climate change. Sure, we won’t be burning as much oil, but with the current levels of CO2-e in the atmosphere we have probably locked in a couple of degrees of warming already. Guess what the powers that be will attempt to replace oil with? You guessed it, Coal, in a liquid form. That is all we bloody need!
Miss 40 says
A small amount of misguided press is better than no press at all Gav, bit of a “Sucky” article though wasn’t it? The main theory and point was lost, but at least it got your basic plight out there!
I’m very disappointed at the public transport system I have up here on the Island. I have NO CHOICE but to drive to work everyday. I operate out of 5 stores for work and each store is at least 40 mins drive from home. If I were to catch a bus from the Island to mainland it would take me an hour and a half one way and 2 buses, then the buses don’t run over to the Island once I have knocked off work at night. I can’t afford a hybrid, and no-one else from ANY of the 5 stores I work at lives on the Island.
I feel soooo guilty, but besides rob my own stores, what else could I do?
Nothing. Because no-one cares and no matter how many people ask for a decent public transport system that runs at night, the council doesn’t give a flying toss because it would lose money running over to the Island late at night. Fat cats with their budgets and Fat Pay cheques. What else can I say?
Canada Guy says
The Age of Oil has driven our growth over the past 100 years. The entire basis of our modern civilization is built on oil and other fossil fuels. It has enabled the industrial revolution, a massive increase in population, and our current standard of living in the West. One way or another, the passing of this Age will change us forever.
Amongst the many concerns that surround oil production one of the biggest is when the world will reach the point of peak oil production. Some researchers feel that this may be within the next year or two. But a recent paper written in Sweden says that it will more likely not be before 2018. What this means it that the oil production will continue to go along the way it has, though in some places it will increase, until it hits its peak and begins to slowly decline.
I wouldn’t worry about it to much, newspapers are not going to do to much to upset their advertising clients, and lets face it, they will lose in the long run as people go elsewhere for their news. Just keep plodding away doing what you’re doing and blogging about it. It doesn’t take long before folk notice that you’re doing OK, you have a bit more money in your pocket and are living a happier healthy lifestyle than they are. Soon enough they are banging on your door looking for tips.
And I think blogs are great, if you look round the nett you soon see that there are thousands of people beavering away doing stuff. There are people building electric vehicles in their backyard, home power generation, gardening and produce, passive solar building and recycling, and the list goes on. All these folk are sharing ideas and spreading the word, it’s a work in progress so back at it with a vengeance Gav. 😉
“I believe that most people would realise that it is more economical to run a 1.3 litre, 4 cylinder Petrol/Electric Hybrid than a petrol guzzling 5 litre V8!”
Up until a few days ago I would of agreed with this statement. I have recently bought a hybrid and posted a comment on my facebook suggesting that people need to use their eyes in car parks because when on electric engines hybrids are very quiet and people keep walking out in front of me because they haven’t heard me. I was very suprised that quite a few people didn’t know what a hybrid was. I explained it figuring maybe they just didn’t know the name for it, but most of them replied that they still had never heard of it. This lead to a further discussion and many didn’t realise about fuel efficiency. It is a little scary, and most of my friends are university educated and in their late 20s – 40s.
Hopefully I’ve at least managed to educate a few more people!
Enjoy your weekend, xx B.
@ Miss 40. I wouldn’t sweat it too much. The guilt is not yours to carry.
@ Canada Guy. Nice blog. I like it a lot.
@ ilona. I think you need to broaden your horizons a little especially in your part of the world. I personally believe we hit the peak and have ran along the plateau since last year
@ Jonesy. Thanks for the encouraging words. I also think that the majority of blogs spread more realistic news than most other journalistic means. The groundswell is definitely building as people start to become more sustainable and sufficient. If they don’t learn now, it will be forced upon them.
@ Bec. I hear you loud and clear. That is what I thought until about 3 years ago. 80% of my friends didn’t have a clue until we started comparing weekly fuel expenses.