What happens when fossil fuels run out?

At our present rate of consumption, oil should run out in about 37 years. Gas should run out in approximately 35 years. Coal will run out in 42 years. It’s sort of hard to wrap your head around it, isn’t it?

“Everyone knows they’re going to die, but no one believes it. If we did we would do things differently.” There is analogy between this truism, and the disjunction between our current rate of projected oil consumption, and the amount of oil that’s actually left in our reserves. RE: Everyone know we’re going to run out of oil, but no one believes it. If we did we would do things differently.

One of the great struggles we face is a difficulty of representation. You can’t see the carbon being pumped into the air around you—it’s invisible. People don’t generally “see” the petrol they pump into their gas tanks. They see the price of a tank adding up at the pump, they see their bank accounts dip. But they don’t actually see the petrol they’re pumping into their vehicles. From pipeline, to fuel-tank truck, to underground-storage tank, to gas-tank hidden on the undercarriage of your car, and then out into the atmosphere—the passage of petroleum through our current infrastructure is almost totally invisible.

The website CarbonVisuals has taken on the task of attempting to remedy this gap in our collective imagination with a series of Youtube videos.

The world that will be left behind if we run through all of our oil reserves is almost equally unimaginable. Today we’ve created an infographic that seeks to address the challenge of imagining a world without oil, and imagining what we’ll have to do in order to avoid facing up to such a world. It is to be hoped that alternative fuels, and new transportation infrastructure will be created in time to prevent our burning off the last drams of oil in our reserves during the latter half of the 21st century. Working towards that goal may be the greatest geo-political & economic challenge of our time.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Thomas Kennedy .

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