Life without Oil

May 22nd, 2003 - by admin

by Indian –

What will become of us in the years to be when oil in no longer available to the masses?

According to the experts and our government, we have approximately 40 years of oil remaining in the world. My best guess is that if the population keeps increasing as it has in the past, and if other countries yearn for and eventually get oil and the technology to use it, we in the United States of America will be out of oil by the year 2016. Especially. if we do not obtain the rights to oil in Iraq and other Arab counties. The Alaska oil fields are only good for a few years worth of oil.

The oil reserves we have are not for general consumption, but rather for military consumption in the future. Think about this, we the United States of America have the world’s strongest military as long as we have fuel to power it. Our tanks, rockets, planes, trucks, ships, and other vehicles all depend on a limitless supply of oil.

When the oil runs out, our military ceases to exist. We do not have ships, planes, and tanks that are solar powered. We do have some large ships and aircraft carriers that are fueled by nuclear, but the planes taking off from these carriers still need jet fuel. Corn oil, soybean oil, sunlight, nuclear, wood and coal fuels do not cut it when one is attempting to lift an F-14 off the deck.

Additionally, most military weapons depend on low cost, molded parts that exhibit toughness, lightness, and stealth qualities that are beneficial attributes of plastics. Plastics are manufactured from oil. The United States of America is about to return to a second-class military country, if we do not secure all the rights to all the available oil in the world. If we do secure all the oil, by trade, contract, war, or otherwise then the rest of the world’s major powers will loose their ability to wage war or defend against us. The stakes are high indeed.

No oil for the general populace? Not many of you remember the pre-fifties in rural America. America was a farming country and a goodly portion of the populace lived on farms that had limited power, heat, and the amenities of today’s homes. Our natural gas used for heating and cooking is a by-product of oil production when creating kerosene, jet fuel, rocket fuels, propane, paints, plastics, and naturally gasoline.

Thus without oil and gas we stop making thousands of items that once were made of aluminum, steel, wood, and clays, all natural products that were replaced by plastic. The talent and the factories for producing items from natural products has long left the country.

Additionally, in recent years the talent and manufacturing facilities for plastic products has left the country for places like China. (Which incidentally has a long, long way to go before producing anything of quality that will last for more than a day, but that is another story.)

Our power plants that were coal fueled were forced to change to oil fueled. Our nuclear power plants have been under the gun for years by the environmental groups and therefore, older plants are shutting down and few new plants are coming on-line to replace each. Geothermal power is limited to specific areas of the county such as Middletown, California and therefore, not much good for the rest of us. Windmills, sea-paddles, and solar panels generate some power but are at the mercy of nature’s elements and therefore, not reliable.

We have in America about one-hundred and fifty year’s worth of coal and unlimited wood (providing we plant more trees) that can be used for fueling our homes and businesses. It is time to start looking into the technology to do so without polluting more of our breathable air.

We have the technology to extract heat from the earth via efficient heat pumps, better home designs, and the use of solar panels. We do though, need to bring manufacturing and jobs back to America and start using our metals or find other materials that do not depend on oil for the production.

Without gas or electric power we will have to cook food and heat water, that you hand pumped or carried, on a wood or coal stove. You will have to read by candlelight, battery lanterns, or torch and you will have to bathe less frequently. That is assuming we do not run out of clean water.

Without power, water cannot easily be filtered, purified, and distributed to most urban and city dwellers. Rural dwellers living near a stream, lake or river will have it better than those who have to pump water from hundreds of feet below.

You will not be able to wash your sports cars, pickup trucks or SUVs with a hose and sponge since most hoses and sponges are made of plastic and will eventually rot or be ruined. Doesn’t matter though, there will be no gasoline for the vehicles and therefore, it makes no sense keeping each clean. Unless you are living in one like many homeless and jobless currently do.

Our computers will come to a halt and since most are 80% plastic, the production of new units will grind to a halt along with the Internet and most information technology. This goes for televisions, table and cell phones, calculators, most kitchen appliances, and most hand tools. Paints and other protective coatings will quickly deteriorate and become scarce. Lubricants, including baby oils and skin creams that are based on petroleum oils will no longer be available. Machinery will come to a halt as bearings dry out. Animal fats and fish oils will again become popular as the primary lubricants for homes and industry.

Home construction will change as there will no longer be inexpensive plastic carpets, moldings, blinds, lamps, tiles, tubs, sinks, counter tops, light plates, doors, roofing, siding, and window frames, all of which are manufactured from oil or oil by-products.

Home décor will change as there will no longer be inexpensive furniture, curtains, cabinets, clocks, or hundreds of other decorator items. Natural materials where available, like wood, clay and adobe block, stone, concrete, and straw will again become the materials of choice when building homes or decoration same.

Small personal things will change as well. Items like clothing, eyeglasses, pens, wallets, handbags, makeup, some soaps, that are made from petroleum products will have to be replaced with replaceable natural products. Many of our cleaners will disappear off the market as the petroleum reserves dry up and replacements are not found.

Without an ample supply of fuel, our farms will grind to a halt as there will not be fuel for tractors, seeders, plows, milking machines, and dozens of other equipment that makes for mass-farming techniques. We will again have to rake, till, dig, and plow by hand or animal power.

Each person that owns a plot will be required to produce food for those in their family and for the local community. Cows, pigs, chickens, and other game will have to be homegrown once again. Bread making will again become an art in the households.

Jobs will be plentiful for those of the older generations that still remember how to work, work with their hands, and create techniques and tools on the fly. College educations will be worthless in a world where technology that depended on oil and its by-products ceases to exist.

We have already sent most of our technology and manufacturing to other lands and it is they that have the oil and will horde every last drop in a effort to keep themselves fed and in power. We will be 100% dependent on countries like China, Japan, Russia, Iraq, Iran, and South America, the oil and product producers. But, cheer up, we will still have our Big Macs and our burger flipping jobs.

Civilian aviation and travel, including cruise liners, will become obsolete due to the lack of fuel to power the ships, planes, buses, limos, and trains. Then again we could revert back to wood powered steam engines with the pollution and noise. What about a steam or solar powered airplane?

The travel industry better make their money now, as eventually it goes away. Travel will be by mule, horse, or horse and buggy on dirt roads and paths. Asphalt, an oil product, will not be available. Yes, we will have concrete, but without fuel for trucks and pavement layers we will not be able to build new expressways and streets.

A nation without oil presents its problems. To see and feel the results for yourself you could travel to many of the native American reservations that dot the landscape of the great Southwest. I am sure that many tribes would be more than happy to show you how to live off the land without power, water, roads, plastics, modern materials, etc., the way their ancestors had to.