Reaching the Oil Peak: What Do We Do?

“Urging the world to brace for a “really big reshuffle” in energy expectations, Christophe de Margerie, CEO of French energy giant Total SA, said he expected oil production to plateau in just 12 years at 94 million barrels a day — less then 10 million barrels more than available now. And he warned the forecast was optimistic.”
“We will have to fight against the natural decline of (present) oil fields,” he told the same forum Khelil attended. “It will not go smoothly.”

The US, its economy, its infrastructure, its cities, towns and countryside have all been built on the concept of an endless supply of cheap or at least affordable oil. Our whole transportation system, the way we get goods and services to communities and the way communities function (police, fire protection, schools, etc) will have to be retrofitted because we will no long be able to pay the cost of the gas to keep them going.

Most people believe the end of the Oil Age is coming but we disagree on when and how hard a landing it’s going to be. Most people think we should have started getting ready in the seventies. Hubbert’s Oil Peak Theory predicted the US oil peak in the late fifties…. Considering the job we have ahead of us and the possible window of opportunity, the 50’s is when we should have started. We now have limited time and we are still even dickering about whether to even be worried. The idea that we are a great country will be tested in the next 50 years. What would the Great Generation do in this situation?


Proposed 50-Year Energy Plan (a work in progress)

The price of oil in the near future will force us to abandon the far flung logistics that our economy is based on. Long distance trucking will become unprofitable. Everything that depends on nation-wide commerce will have to make other arrangements. A complete restructuring of our infrastructure, centering around localized living and all that it entails, will have to be our new system. We have to start on it today. Voltaire said “tend thy own garden”. We all should take a long look at our local communties and get ready to be more self-sustainable. Look at how or communties funtion. Our individual states need to make energy the priority. On the federal level energy research should be the number one concern. Suspend the space exploration and channel all these funds into solving the the comming oil peak problem.

Alternative Energy
Once localized energy programs (such as hydropower) will have to be used again. Other areas will need to investigate the best types of alternative power for each particular area, i.e., wind, wave and thermal. All local waste needs to be used as a fuel.
All states need to start algae harvesting programs for oil. All states need to build nuclear plants.
Regions that are mountainous: hydro power, flat regions wind, costal regions and the great lakes: wave motion.

All building construction needs to be sustainable and energy efficient. All roofs need to be green or solar. Building codes will have to rely on the sustainable, passive energy efficient techniques that have been developed over the past 3000 years.

Community Planning
We have to organize our communities better. Our communities should no longer be dependant on the personal vehicle but have the versatility to encompass different ways of getting around. In other words, living should not depend on using large amounts of gasoline. Communities should be arranged where work is closer and where doing errands are close enough not to requiring a personal vehicle. Get back to depending on local crops for food. The farmers market is key.We have to stop building new roads…all new transportation construction and budgets need to be allocated for mass transit. Multi-modal systems will need to be a requirement in all major population areas, highly integrating long distance high speed trains, light rail, bus, vehicular, bike and pedestrians access.

All cities need to develop a diverse agricultural belt with large systems of farmers markets throughout the communities.

This massive undertaking will have to start today. Moblization should rival the efforts of WWII.

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