“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” - Often attributed to Plato but likely from Ian McLaren (pseudonym of Reverend John Watson)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

300 barrels

That's the amount of proven and probable reserves of oil for each person on Earth. Clearly, it's not an exact number but it assumes about 2 trillion barrels and about 6.7 billion people. 300 barrels. That's it.

Now, in the United States we use about 25 barrels of oil per year per person. For those not near their calculator, that means we'll use up our 300 barrels in 12 years. Is it really that bad? Well, yes. Fortunately for us, there are many countries in Africa and Asia, and even in Central and South America who kindly decide not to use as much of their 300 barrels each year as we do. In fact, there are no countries whose citizens use as much of their 300 barrel allotment as we do. For example, the Chinese use around two barrels per year per person.

The question is: when we've used up ours, are they all going to sell us theirs? Sure, if the price is right. But that price will be dear. Only the most essential uses will be able to be accommodated. What we're seeing in the commodity exchanges and at the gas pump is only the beginning - there is no aspect of our lives that will remain unaffected.

Preparation should have begun years ago, this impending calamity is not a new development. It's been predicted for half a century. Preparation at the personal, community, local, national, and worldwide levels with an urgency that hasn't been matched in living memory is the prescription. Look around - do you see it anywhere?

There are those who are preparing, I strongly recommend the Yahoo news group Running on Empty 2. There, you'll find extensive discussions of the issues at hand, of preparations people are undertaking, and answers to questions. You'll find links to pertinent news items, web sites, and fora and blogs. You won't find old school survivalists of the black helicopter variety.

While I work on maximizing the return on my energy expenditures driving my Land Rover to and from my McMansion, I'm working on a total change of lifestyle. I recommend readers do the same.