How will your life change when gas hits $5 a gallon? Research of potential gas prices predicts this could occur as early as two years from now, but the range extends to 2020 – a clear indication of the volatile and speculative nature of the market.
CNN reports “Ex-Shell President Sees $5 Gas by 2012” yet the other extreme is represented in a recent report by University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, which estimates $5-per-gallon gas will hit in 2020.
Our globalized world economy depends on fossil fuels for everything from food production to medical services. According to reports from the most recent census, American workers spend on average 100 hours a year commuting.
Imagine a world where empowered individuals and families base their lives around what they can do themselves.
With workplaces near our homes and communities that provide food, support and all kinds of nourishment, commuting is unnecessary. Time can be spent on nurturing healthy and beneficial relationships between individual needs and the community.
Our nation’s heavily car-dependant lives and road-based city plans are a double-edged sword. The transportation infrastructure is invaluable, yet the current inefficiency and continued foreign dependence of our fuel is universally recognized as a threat.
Energy use analysis by governments and individuals has supported a slowly-growing movement toward alternatives.
Acknowledgment of the need to shift away from unparalleled growth in demand is effecting marketing strategies even in huge multi-national corporations. However, be aware of their motives as they won’t stop making a profit when Americans reduce pollution and consumption levels.
Royal Dutch Shell, the parent company of the U.S.-based Shell Oil, is the second-largest company in the world by annual revenue, as ranked by Fortune magazine.
With global demand exponentially increasing in regions to the East, price per barrel will rise all across the planet.
Higher price of oil pushes deep water drilling and unconventional sources, such as tar sands, both of which are very dangerous or outright detrimental to the environment.
Is your lifestyle highly dependent on fossil fuels? Making choices that lead towards self-sufficiency and away from consumer dependence can help ensure your economic survival in a rapidly-changing world.
Two scenarios in a predictions report released earlier this month by Shell analyze possible futures, nicknamed “Scramble” and “Blueprint.”
Intelligent urban design, political will and innovation characterize the more stable option. Scramble predicts uncertain disorder among world leaders and difficulty reaching any consensus as to how to create solutions.
That conclusion would hold true if leaders are (or continue to be) influenced by private interests and not the greater good for their people.
Prioritizing the good of global citizens would mean we could expect a period of global consensus where a genuine people’s representation works towards the health and harmony of all nations.
Achieving any form of planetary accord would require the mobilization of virtually all citizens. Cities, towns and farms need to be replanted, repaired and revitalized.
Each neighborhood of engaged citizens is created with their own hands. Combined efforts result in low energy solutions for a future that doesn’t have to be tied to the boom and bust cycle of our profit-based economy.
Shell Oil’s stated solution to help alleviate the panic includes a large amount of natural gas, another fossil fuel, and emphasizes the positive impact a global cap-and-trade emissions program would have.
Natural gas is difficult to extract, the process is energy and fresh-water intensive and creates much waste that’s so harmful, residents surrounding drill sites can light their tap water on fire.
Shell does not address these problems, most likely in part because of the large profit they stand to make from an increase in American production of natural gas. They do discuss the difficulties in creating an internationally agreed upon transparent regulation for carbon emissions.
The political will to create new solutions will only come from an engaged and vocal citizenry. The dire straits and global scale of this matter can dampen spirits and cause a sense of helplessness.
Recognition of the importance of small changes and local politics in the hearts and minds of Americans across the nation can combine into an unstoppable force towards a steady decline in our oil demand.
Smart urban planning and growth is tantamount to reducing probability of the chaos scenario. Do not underestimate the power of the individual as example and inspiration.
One by one, voices of the people are coming together. We must combine our innovations to bring forth a future that allows us to anchor our needs by locality instead of leaning on such an unpredictable world as foreign oil.