A World Without Oil
Sometimes I go to funny places in my mind. Do you ever go exploring?
Lately I've been imagining a world without oil. No oil for cars, no oil for 18-wheelers, no oil for jets. Not even any oil for construction equipment or ambulances. Same world, but smack out of oil. Can you see it?
The funny thing is that it will happen. When that day comes, we may or may not have harnessed a renewable source of energy, but run out of oil we most certainly will. What will the history books say of you and me?
The June 4, 2005 issue of The Economist tells us the Chinese are learning to drive. Last year they purchased more than 5 million cars, compared to the 17 million purchased by Americans. Next year they'll surpass the Japanese to become the second-largest car market on earth. And that's just the beginning. China's rumbling economic growth means that in just a few years she could buy 5 times as many cars as the US each year and consume as much oil as we currently use in half a decade.
And you thought the price of gas was high.
According to the most recent U.S. Geological Survey (2000,) there are 3,000 billion barrels of oil left in the world. Total oil production in 2000 was 25 billion barrels. So if world oil consumption increases at an average rate of 1.4 percent per year, the world's oil supply will not be exhausted until the year 2056. But that scenario doesn't consider the Chinese. If they punch the accelerator, our fifty-year supply could be gone in fifteen.
The internet is looking more and more vital, is it not?
I'm not trying to play Chicken Little here, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” My goal today is only to open the eyes of your imagination. There are lots of things to think that aren't being properly thunk, but if we all pitch in, we might be able to think them all. Here are just a few:
Did J.M. Barrie intend for Peter Pan's ticking crocodile to represent how Time devours our youth? And if so, how deep does the symbolism run in this 100 year-old story?
Jesus always “lifted his eyes toward heaven” when he prayed, so why do we always bow our heads and close our eyes?
If color is a language, which colors are the verbs? What constitutes a verb in the language of music?
Why do theoretical physicists not take the ideas of Julian Barbour more seriously?
If your life ended today, what would you regret you had left undone?
Sometimes it's good to go exploring in your mind.
You can never be certain what you'll find.
Roy H. Williams
PS – Woo-hoo! There it was on page 6B of USA TODAY: A positive review of Greg Farrell's new book published by Wizard Academy Press. First the Eisenbrothers popped onto the bestseller lists of USA TODAY, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times with their book, Call to Action, and now Greg follows it up with a review in a major publication. Wow. We must be a real publishing company. I fear my head has grown 3 hat sizes. – Roy H. Williams