Oil is running out.
Okay, I’ll say that again. It’s not just global warming that should make us mend our ways. Oil is running out. Quite fast.
Even the most generous estimates give us to 2015 – just seven years away. And from then on, however much we (and China, and India, and Russia) might want our economies to grow – there just won’t be the oil or gas to do it.
Since the first commercial oil well was dug in here are a few of the things we’ve got used to making from it: aspirin, sticky tape, trainers, socks, glue, paint, varnish, foam mattresses and packing, carpets, clothes, CDs, DVDs, plastic bottles, contact lenses, hair gel, toothbrushes, rubber gloves, washing up bowls and drainers, electric plugs and sockets, shoe polish, computers and printers, candles, bags, puffa jackets, bicycle pumps, rawlplugs, credit cards, double glazing, lipstick and of course plastic bags.
So, first step; start preparing yourself to do without that lot. Of course, it won’t take account of all the other things that need oil for their production.
So oil companies are now rushing to look for oil in new places, like tar sands. But it’s much more expensive to produce this way. It’s like trying to take the cocoa out of a But dirtier. Or like a junkie who’s used up her arms and legs, looking for veins between her toes. (I prefer the brownie analogy myself. Just a baking, mum sort of thing.)
Our so-called government is putting its faith (and YOUR money, in vast amounts) into nucular power. But guess what? Eighty-six percent of oil and gas consumption is for purposes other than producing electricity. So nucular is irrelevant in that context.
In an ideal world, we’d all be offgrid by now. But given what we know now about (you’ll never find me using the words ‘cynical’ and ‘vote-catcher’ in the same brackets), the next best thing for urban prisoners is to find other ways to reduce our oil dependency.
If you’re so wildly urban you don’t even have a garden, try an ‘Try’ being the key word; waiting lists are ten years in Camden, six years in Lewisham, and in Haringey they gave up counting and just closed the list.
Next time, venture further afield (as it were). Tell them they’re having a holiday in Cornwall, just like any normally aspirational townies. Don’t – necessarily – tell them they’re going to ‘in the heart of Cornwall’s Transition Culture’ to learn how to make herbal ointments and felted clothing, acquire bushcraft skills and get down to cob oven cookery.
While you’re there, put the town house on eBay. That’ll teach ‘em.