$20 PER GALLON: CHANGE BEFORE CRISIS HITS
By Frosty Wooldridge
September 21, 2009
Pare 3: Waiting until you’re in the crisis
Christopher Steiner, author of $20 PER GALLON, paints a sobering picture for our civilization. He’s not alone. You may view this 86 minute compelling film “Blind Spot” by Adolpho Doring and Amanda Zackem:
I couldn’t take my eyes off the movie as I watched it three times. Once you see that documentary, you will understand exactly what Steiner, Bartlett, Catton, Tainter, Brown, Bradford, Steinberg and other top experts have tried to tell this society for 30 years. You will understand how we combine energy use and population increases to drive this civilization toward a tenuous future.
Yet, many continue thinking “Peak Oil” remains a myth. Others condemn this series with promotion of men like Stanley Meyer who created a car that runs on water. Somehow, Meyer died of food poisoning after he drove across the USA on 22 gallons of water. His secret died with him.
Another reader, Allen Miller, Klamath Falls, Oregon said, “You really should do some research on "abiotic oil.” Peak oil is a myth and an outright lie. I have been studying this for years. The Russians proved that if you drill deep enough you can find oil anywhere on the planet. Oil is made deep in the Earth and percolates up.”
If you investigate, you may educate yourself beyond the rhetoric, myth and hearsay. We teeter on the edge of an abyss of profound and inevitable energy dilemmas. We will experience massive dislocation as we press against all resources. The definite lack of water will become our Waterloo more than oil.
In Chapter $12 a gallon, “The tide of gasoline prices will shift Americans from the burbs to the cities,” Steiner said. “If civilization is to march forward, however, a couple of acres simply won’t be an accessible or realistic part of most Americans’ lives, nor, with high energy costs, will a huge house and yard be a desirable way to live. Our cities will regroup, renew and grow denser.”
That, in my experience, creates a kind of urban mass insanity stemming from compacting human beings into 10 million person cages not built into our DNA makeup. If you look at our major cities today, you see the highest forms of aberrant behavior, huge police forces, endless mass psychosis, murders, violence and other problems. Steiner may be too optimistic!
At Chapter $14, small towns will take revenge on big box stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot and Lowe’s.
“The sound of Wal-Mart falling will be one that all of us hear,” Steiner said. “Wal-Mart tallies $400 billion annually. It employs 2.1 million people. About 80 percent of Wal-Mart’s suppliers are from China. The makers of the cheapest stuff, the commodity junk, such as pens, clothes and house wares, will be hardest hit. Only the U.S. can inhale that much junk. In the U.S., 10,000 ghost boxes will serve as giant rotting gravestones for the era of mass globalization and merchandising. ‘Made in China’ won’t be the ubiquitous moniker marking our goods that it is now.”
At or before $14 gallon, plastics will change from oil to corn. We will develop biodegradable plastics from corn that will return ecological balance to the world.
In Chapter $16, “Many American farms faced with high gasoline costs will go local again,” Steiner said. “Rising gas prices will be the incorrigible gorilla that trashes our complex weave of food producers, shippers and wholesalers, ultimately changing the equation for good at $16 per gallon. Ferrying Central California’s bounty to New York will be economically unsavory.”
As Americans build hot houses, vegetables will grow and sell locally. Instead of Monsanto pouring herbicides, pesticides and damaging fertilizer all over our food, you can expect healthier produce. Personally, I think Monsanto, makers of the weed killer “Roundup,” should spray it over themselves for ultimate extinction! Ah, but I digress!
In Chapter $18, hang on to your seat belts! “The advent of a true high-speed train network in America will be the ultimate sign that our world has adapted to oil’s scarcity. Its existence would signal our country’s collective recognition that the world has changed forever according to energy’s terms.”
What will cause trains to become the dominant mode of long distance transport? You guessed it! The inevitable price of gasoline at $18 a gallon! “Stagnant societies tend to stay stagnated; vibrant ones adjust, adapt and move forward,” Steiner said. “We’ll see trains flying toward their destinations at 215 miles per hour.”
IT TAKES A CRISIS TO MAKE AMERICANS CHANGE
U.S. House member, Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), said, “If you wait until you’re in a crisis, your options are limited.”
“It will take a panoply of reasons why it will take a very high price per gallon to change how our government funnels our transportation dollars,” Steiner said. “The Pentagon will not cease to be a force in the world with gas priced at $18?thhat’s why the military is actually ahead of many other sectors of the government when it comes to looking toward a future of high gas prices.”
“Our energy future: hydro aperitif, wind appetizer, nuclear entrée,” said Steiner. “Electricity will become the fuel of choice.”
Steiner talks of the consequences of burning coal. Humans dump 33 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year—causing horrific damage as we acidify our soils and oceans. We cannot continue that kind of environmental destruction.
In the final analysis, Steiner promotes nuclear as the safest, cleanest and most abundant energy source.
At the book’s end, Steiner creates a future world where ‘Bill citizen’ doesn’t own a car, but travels by train everywhere in the USA. Airplanes faded from the skies years ago. He boards nuclear powered ships for vacations in Europe. He monitors his electrical usage. He eats foods grown locally. Only one of his friends owns an electric car, but it proves expensive on toll roads. He finds life less hectic and more fulfilling at slower speeds.
I found this book highly informative, well-written and extensively researched. No question our civilization heads into a sobering, if not worrisome future. What we face will not be a cake walk! To compound our eventual transition to electrical mass transport and nuclear power, Steiner omitted one factor in his ‘rosy’ view of the future. The United States expects to add 100 million people by 2035. Another 100 million on top of that by 2065 and another 100 million on top of that before the turn of the century! It’s that one factor that will magnify other shortages other than oil: water and resources. That 300 million added Americans will magnify environmental destruction, climate destabilization and a host of calamities already devastating China and India.
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It will be interesting to see when an American author will write the progressive calamities titled Chapter 100 million more Americans; Chapter 200 million more Americans; Chapter 300 million more Americans. For your information, one writer has written such a book: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans by Frosty Wooldridge. Obtain a copy: 1 888 280 7715
Listen to Frosty Wooldridge on Wednesdays as he interviews top national leaders on his radio show "Connecting the Dots" at www.themicroeffect.com at 6:00 PM Mountain Time. Adjust tuning in to your time zone.
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