The worst of the oil crisis appears to be over. While prices across the board are still significantly higher than pre-shock prices, the cost of gasoline is down from its peak and appears to have stabilized. Many people crave a return to their lives as they knew them before; others feel we can never really go back, and that to continue the oil dependency of the past is short-sighted and irresponsible. Looking forward, how do we balance our short-term desire for energy's benefits with the long-term risks and costs of procuring it?
Part 1: Set the Stage
Part 2: Take Action
- Read "Pulling into the driveway" by CeeGee:
- Read "Conservation, our new major fuel source" by PrudentRVer:
Part 3: Lesson Activity
- Discussion Questions:
- Can we just go back to our previous life? Why or why not? What long-term changes do you think we should make?
- Why do many people feel the desire to go back to life as it was before the oil crisis?
Part 4: Reflect
- Review the following posts by Gail The Actuary:
- Develop a 30-year plan to reduce the United State's dependence on oil. The plan should include each year's percentage mix of (a) energy from oil (b) energy use offset by increased efficiency (c) energy from alternate sources and (d) reduced energy consumption. The plan begins in the current year, with energy from oil = 100%.
Now that the situation is stabilizing, you should be thinking ahead about how to avert future oil crises. You should reflect upon personal, community, and governmental changes that need to be made. Use the following questions to help guide you reflection:
- How do we balance our short-term desire for energy's benefits with the long-term risks and costs of procuring it?
- What long-term changes does the government need to make to start to break our oil dependence?
- What can you do to decrease your carbon footprint? How can you motivate others to do the same?
- Will you resist slipping back into old habits? If so, how?
Part 5: Take It Further
Now that you have time to start thinking about the permanent changes to your lifestyle, what about changing where you get your energy? Illianaspeedstr has started trying find oil-free sources of electricity on the World Without Oil Team Blog:
While he did not have much luck, it appears others are finding alternative sources. To take it further today, research where your energy comes from. Does your electric grid draw from a wind farm? Does your energy company allow you to select a green energy source? Make sure to post your findings on your blog. If you can, add photographs, drawings, or video!