Subscribe to the RSS Newsfeed

Subscribe to our RSS Newsfeed

Political Blogs, News & Views

Discussing America’s political direction with balanced perspective


The End of Oil

Scott Bannon Posted by Scott Bannon

The End of Oil With oil prices topping new records almost every day this would be a good time for me to say “I told you so” several years ago when I was soap-boxing heavily about the doomed future of depending on a finite resource. But I won’t gloat.

My warnings in the past were met with hyperbole and anger, oddly enough from both the right and the left. I realized back then that while some (mostly on the left) agreed with getting off of oil and moving to renewable energy sources, they only wanted to do that in a manner that was convenient and cheap; usually displayed in their fanciful talk of “future technologies” that were going to appear by some divine intervention to save us–as if God were John Wayne leading the scientific calvery in at the last minute.

Well, fast forward to today and it’s overly costly to continue relying on oil based energy sources, those “future technologies” are still years away and suddenly words like conservation and efficiency aren’t getting me the same angered reactions they were 2 years ago. Probably because pump prices and limited budgets are forcing many of us to be more conservative and efficient in our daily lives.

I’ve never seen what I think of as just “being practical” about energy and the environment as a left vs. right issue, though I understand that it is for many folks and I even understand why they feel that way.

But in my mind it’s a simple question of progress and survival that everyone should care about.

By progress I mean that we have no choice but to progress from oil to something else. It’s not a political issue and isn’t up for debate. There is a limited supply of oil out there and it will run out eventually. The only question that really exists is when are we going to let go of the teet; now, while a supply cushion remains to partially ease our transition with–or later when we’re left in the dark and unprepared?

And of course by survival I mean that we depend on energy for everything. Without energy we really are just cave people with better hair styles.

We need it to cook, to live, to work, to wage war… everything we do is dependent on energy; which right now is dependent on a fuel source that’s running out. That’s why the reluctance to accept this reality has always seemed so crazy to me.

Even for the oil companies who have fought a long and hard battle to deny the need for change. Their business is built upon a limited product and has no future as is.

Still, as I understand that this is a political issue for many and that my opinions aren’t viewed as “moderate” by most, I’d like to point out a book that I’ve recently read which was mentioned to me by one of my right leaning conservative friends as a rational and honest examination of where we’re at and where we need to go.

It’s called “The End of Oil” by Paul Roberts, and it really is an eye opener that as my friend who recommended it to me says, “doesn’t care about the reader’s politics, just requires the reader to care about either their bank accounts or their children’s future”.

The End of Oil is available at in paperback, new or used for under $2 and is really worth checking out in my opinion.

Technorati Tags: oil, paul roberts

Related Writings

  1. 3 Responses to “The End of Oil”

  2. By Untommies | Reply to article

    I agree with you that we should use different, cleaner, more efficent fuel sources. But I would like to mention that the reason our gas prices are so high is because the major places we get our oil from are the two countries that hate America. There is oil in international water just off our coasts but you know who is drilling there? The Chinese! But why are we not drilling there ourselves? Because enviormental activists won’t let us! So it is important to start researching better alternative fuel sources but that is not why we have high gas prices.

    Scott Bannon

    Scott Bannon reply on June 28th, 2008 11:05 pm:

    You are absolutely right, our main oil suppliers are 2 countries who don’t really care for us. But that isn’t the only reason prices are so high.

    Add in that we’ve created real havoc in the region with our preemptive and unprovoked attack upon Iraq.

    Add in the ballooning demand across the global market from major countries with large populations which are just beginning to open access to products (cars) and technologies which consume oil.

    And add in the definite fact which the whole argument about opening coastal drilling seems to overlook; oil is a finite resource that will run out.

    I don’t care how much land and coastal shelf you open up to drilling, it isn’t going to produce more oil. It will only allow us to use up what’s left quicker, so it’s a zero-sum solution.

    The technologies that we are just now starting to put serious research into have existed for decades and the activists were begging for them to be funded and promoted all along, the reason we don’t have some of them available today isn’t environmental activists, it’s people who stuck their heads in the sand and ignored the obvious, that oil would run out someday.

    So, I would counter that the high fuel prices we have today also aren’t because of environmental activists, but rather those who had to be pulled kicking and screaming into the reality that we have today. A growing global demand for a shrinking supply of oil, that’s why fuel prices are so high and will continue climbing.

    Untommies reply on June 28th, 2008 9:46 pm:

    I also agree that oil is running out. It is a fact. In about 300 years there will be nothing left. But are any of the alternatives we have now ready to power all the cars of the world? I don’t think so. However I do believe that America should go Nuclear (power wise) to power our homes and buisnesses. But those places do not guzzle gas as much as all the cars do. We need something to sustain us until we have worked out all the kinks.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.