What will we do when oil crashes?
August 31, 2005 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Resource wars and gas rations, what will be next ? I bet you didn't know we gobble oil like two-legged SUV's.
posted by graytopia (20 comments total)
Fine, great, I think we've all heard these things before. When is someone going to suggest what we can *do* about these problems?
posted by DragonBoy at 8:19 PM on August 31, 2005

We must pressure the Pakistanis to give up Bin Laden while at the same time drastically reducing crude oil dependence in the U.S. thus keeping gasoline prices low, without inconveniencing me in any way.
Right now.
posted by longsleeves at 8:25 PM on August 31, 2005

If this is true, I wonder if there will be a plethora of oil-free products sold in stores, the way that organic things are sold now -- people have been willing to pay a premium for organic, so why not oil-free? "Grown locally, farmed manually, transported by hand" or somesuch.

Of course, that would be quite a premium price paid indeed, if the products had to be carried further than a few blocks...
posted by davejay at 8:42 PM on August 31, 2005

I got a warm fuzzy feeling when I rode my bike past a gas station today and saw that unleaded went up 20 cents in the last two days. Then I almost got hit by a car.

Forget oil. It's when water starts running out that things will really start getting ugly.
posted by mullingitover at 8:46 PM on August 31, 2005

In the Milwaukee area, there's a county right next to Milwaukee that, due to overdevelopment, has sucked down its water table to the radon, now it wants a piece of Lake Michigan. Personally, I don't think they should get the access.

It's easy to imagine a scenario where armed soldiers would have to patrol the borders of the two counties.
posted by drezdn at 8:48 PM on August 31, 2005

We should obviously be opening the national Strategic Petroleum Reserve to production. However, we should not allow crude produced from the SPR to be shipped into any state that has thwarted the U.S.'s feeble attempt at petroleum independence by refusing to allow oil exploration/production in petroleum-rich areas within those states.

Furthermore, several U.S. refineries were forced to close in recent years because they could not permits to modernize in a political atmosphere hostile to oil. This has led to a concentration of refineries along the Gulf Coast, in the very area vulnerable to giant storms like Katrina. The use of SNPR in such hostile states should be contingent on the granting of approvals for building new, environmentally-friendly refineries in areas where old refineries once stood. The use of "not-in-my-back-yard" philosophies to shut down oil refineries has clearly been contrary to the national interest.
posted by PlanoTX at 9:00 PM on August 31, 2005

Like, oh, the Everglades in Florida and in the Gulf off the Florida panhandle? I'm sure that'll happen, given Florida's governor, and that you'd want it to in the case of the frickin' Everglades, which are sort of important environmentally and already endangered.
posted by raysmj at 9:07 PM on August 31, 2005

If we put all the agricultural waste we (the US) produces into TCP's, we could be self-sufficient on our own gasoline. Why are we not giving this company billions of dollars to make these things? Seriously.
posted by Mach5 at 9:19 PM on August 31, 2005

Looking at my own links, I found this:

Can you process municipal sewage sludge?
At our pilot plant in Philadelphia, we have successfully applied our process to the waste stream processed at a major city’s bio-solids facility, pursuant to a detailed testing protocol.

posted by Mach5 at 9:32 PM on August 31, 2005

Because that would

a: really piss off our existing oil industry buddies/campaign backers

and b: really piss off our existing Saudi buddies/campaign backers
posted by stenseng at 9:33 PM on August 31, 2005

The first two Mad Max movies sure are cool.
posted by buzzman at 9:42 PM on August 31, 2005

But if the Saudi/oil industry pisses off the constituency enough, politicians will no longer be able to ignore this. Hopefully. Email your senators and representatives!
posted by Mach5 at 9:44 PM on August 31, 2005

God hates Labor Day returns no Google hits.
posted by maggieb at 10:15 PM on August 31, 2005

Mach5, that's not a complete solution. That's just being more efficient by reclaiming as much energy as we can from what we consider waste material now. What we really need is new energy generation to solve the energy problem.

I think we need to look at microbes that can produce fuels from sunlight and maybe fix atmospheric carbon. THAT would be cool. Solar energy powered microbes to suck CO2 out of the air and turn it into hydrocarbon fuels like diesel.
posted by mhh5 at 2:52 AM on September 1, 2005

Wicker baskets will be next.
posted by tommyc at 3:09 AM on September 1, 2005

mhh5: I fully understand that but what i think we need is something on the interim until technology improves. There will be better solutions than the TDP, but the TDP is here now.
posted by Mach5 at 5:52 AM on September 1, 2005

I recommend looking intoCommunity Supported Agriculture (CSA) as a food alternative. Some of these farms are sustainable organic farming outfits, which has the added bonus of not using a lot of petroleum based fertilizers. Either way your food doesn't have to be shipped halfway around the world. It tastes better too.
posted by jefeweiss at 6:48 AM on September 1, 2005

> I bet you didn't know we gobble oil like two-legged SUV's

it's worse

(prev discussed here)
posted by Substrata at 6:57 AM on September 1, 2005

To take a liberty, I recommend a wiki summarising current issues around this: I contributed most of this text. The very important "So what do we do?" section is not yet up and running, but my niece predicts that we'll all live in caves and poke other people with pointed sticks.
posted by imperium at 7:53 AM on September 1, 2005

I'm as much for the Florida Everglades as I am for $4.50/gal. gasoline.

They go hand-in-hand.
posted by PlanoTX at 2:08 PM on September 1, 2005

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