So I was walking home from my lectures today, around 6pm, not too long ago, and usually around this time the traffic is pretty busy. Rush hour in this city is stupid just because of the inferior road systems we have here. But today I saw barely any cars. It was like a vision of the future. Seriously. It was scary. Maybe people have caught on to the oil shock and decided to stay off the roads and keep to public transport and paths. Who knows?
Over here in the UK we haven't been hit so hard just yet, still hovering around 93 - 94p, but prices have definately risen. It's only a matter of time before we start seeing £1+ per gallon. With my student budget and these raising prices I'm gonna be having a hard time seeing my parents any time soon. Home is 100 miles away from where I live to study, that usually costs about £10 one way in my car. I just don't know if i could make the same journeys if that were to raise to £20 or £30. That is the equivalent of a week or two's worth of meals for me. That said, in this house we have a gas stove, that could be the price of a few days worth of meals. I dread to think what the next bill will be.
Maybe it's time for us to go into complete lockdown? Tinned food, candle light, and so on.
I'm going to be heading to the supermarket in a few minutes to stock up on tinned foods and supplies to last me. I have to use my car to get there, so this'll have to be a rare visit.
I never thought there'd be so many implications of an oil shock. Sure, less cars on the road, less fossil fuels burnt, save the environment. It's all good, isn't it?
But I've realised that everyone will suffer. We all need to cook our food, we all need to get to work, we need to be able to afford all of these things. With prices rising so rapidly (the price of oil has tripled since 1996), people will be finding it harder and harder to get by. The rich will be living like the middle class today, the middle class will be living like the working class. I don't want to think what will happen to the working class.
The world needs to follow in the footsteps of Sweden. By 2020 they plan to be practically oil free. Alternative energy sources are available today, and they are not too difficult to implement. Hydrogen and ethanol powered cars are already close to being commercially available. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the entire universe. Sure, it costs a lot to produce hydrogen as an energy source, as it is generally locked away in compounds. But with scientific progress advancing at the rate it is today, this price will soon drop. Coupled with rising fuel prices, it will be soon cheaper to run a car off hydrogen than off oil. And the plus side is that the only by product of a hydrogen fueled car is water. No more carbon footprint from cars, then. As long as the hydrogen is produced by some clean, renewable source. It can be done with wind, or hydroelectricitiy.
Until then, we can turn to ethanol. Ethanol burns clean. Well, essentially clean, compared to gasoline. In Brazil, 50% of the cars already run purely on ethanol. Some cars can even run on mixtures of ethanol and gasoline, which is probably the most likely scenario, to strike a happy medium between price and performance. The upside of using ethanol is that the economy of ethanol producing countries will dramatically increase.
I don't know the exact statistics, but I can see it becoming the new liquid gold.
These advances are thinking long run though. Oil prices are rising TODAY. Maybe tomorrow they will have doubled? Trebled?
We have to take action RIGHT THIS SECOND to prepare.
I've seen people blogging about survival kits, guidelines for coping in crises, things like that.
I emplore you all, go out RIGHT NOW to your nearest supermarket or grocery store and stock up on tinned foods.
That's exactly what I'm going to do now.