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Community a world without oil fueled by renewables   are we on track  | Upload Society

A World Without Oil Fueled By Renewables. Are We On Track?

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by: Sharai Hoekema
a world without oil fueled by renewables   are we on track  | Upload

Just sit back and enjoy that thought for a minute. What if, suddenly, from one day to the next, there would be no more oil? Not a tank, not a gallon, not even a single drop? Aside from the obvious negative implications for those economies that are driven by the black gold, there will be plenty of other side-effects, both positive and negative. 

Electric cars fueled by renewable energy sources

I’m going to allow myself to indulge in the fantasy and explore ways of how the world will change because of it. Starting with the obvious one: we will no longer be able to fuel up our cars at the gas station down the street. So that will be a shame, leaving that big ol’ Chevy in the garage. Although there are plenty of alternatives. 
Sustainable transport will be our go-to means of getting around. Most of us will own an electric car, fuelled by renewable energy sources - perhaps even of the self-driving variety, allowing us to sit back and relax as we are whisked from A to B. Alternatively, you can hop on the electric trains or metros, departing from fully sustainable and hyper-modern stations. 

Drones, electric trucks and sustainable freight trains

Goods are transported by drones, electric trucks, on sustainable freight trains, and smart container ships. All of which are obviously fitted with state-of-the-art tracking software and sensors, allowing for real-time analysis.
Would you want to go on a long journey? There will be electric planes, ready to transport passengers to tropical destinations all around the world. Or you could opt for a sustainable cruise ship or yacht, sailing all the oceans of the world. No matter your destination, no matter your purpose - there will be a suitable means of transportation. 

Sounds good? Well, yes. But let’s not ignore the reality of today: most of the mentioned forms of transportation are not even available yet, let alone a feasible option for the short term. The number of gas-guzzling cars far outweighs the number of electric vehicles, meaning that a sudden oil-stop would quite literally have society grinding to a halt. Perhaps we still have an electric scooter or an old-fashioned bike in the garage, although this will not be sufficient to cover large distances. 

The unavoidable crash

The entire aviation industry will crash - excuse the pun -, leaving those who frequently travel internationally hanging out to dry. As it stands, very few oil-free alternatives are available, quite possibly forcing the big airlines to scramble in their race to find an oil-free passenger plane. Just as it would be for the majority of the cruise- and yachting industry, in fact. 

So, while the picture-perfect Jetsons-like vision of the future might sound appealing and admittedly become reality a whole lot sooner if oil were to suddenly disappear, the image for the foreseeable future would be far from rosy. International travel will become extremely difficult, whilst most of us will find ourselves limited in our mobility, having been robbed of our cars and buses. The trains and cars that remain will be far and few between - and most certainly incapable of handling the increased flow of passengers that are still hoping to retain their jobs or pursue an education. 
The same goes for a gazillion other aspects of our life, all of which rely on oil. Deny all you want, but it is a painful fact that oil serves as the backbone of our society. Taking it all away would quite literally undermine all that we have built up, which could be disastrous for the world’s economy and set us back decades. 

Nuclear power is relatively foolproof

To illustrate this, just take a look at the energy needs of the world. Without oil, there is only one real alternative that would be able to meet the needs of the world - nuclear energy. All of the renewable energy sources that are currently available - hydro, wind, solar, geothermal, and wave energy - are nowhere near sufficient to power all of today’s society. Nuclear power is relatively foolproof, extremely clean, and very safe. 
So that sounds great - who needs oil for energy generation anyway? Unfortunately, the matter is once again not as easy and smooth as it may seem. While the costs of building nuclear facilities and the lengthy timeline associated with it may have been historical bottlenecks, the major problem is public perception. Spurred on by organisations like Greenpeace, a large proportion of the general population is not in favour of nuclear energy, to say the least, or absolutely frightened by it, at its most extreme. Events like Chernobyl and Fukushima are ingrained within our collective memory, making the general acceptance of nuclear energy a hurdle that will be tricky to overcome. Not to mention the time that it would cost us to actually build enough nuclear power plants to deliver sufficient energy, once again leaving us in a grim, dark place for the first years after having lost our oil overnight.

Our lives without oil

After all, figuring out how to live our lives without oil will entail even more than 'just' the way we move and generate energy. It will change the way we eat, we live, the way that we dress. Our homes will have to become much greener, as we cannot use as much energy to heat it: insulation and ventilation are the key words, while our home appliances will have to be super efficient. Low-flush toilets, water saving dishwashers, and low-draw lightbulbs will become the new norm. 
Our food will be produced locally, changing each season, depending on what is available in our vegetable gardens. The same applies for clothing: fabrics that are available locally will set the norm for our garments, quite possibly including some new innovative techniques to keep us warm (remember the need to save energy in our homes?).
Wait, I once again described the ideal situation. Would it really be as simple as making an instant switch to a local economy, where we all live in sustainable homes and only eat the food and wear the clothes that are available at a given time? Without putting up much of a fight?

Sustainable alternatives

Well, probably not. Chances are that, as the result of an oil crisis, we will turn into cavemen instead - and definitely not in the good way. Instead of resorting to outfits made out of hides and skins of animals and hunting deers and gathering fruits and nuts, we will take our figurative spears and head off to loot the supermarkets. The prospect of food shortages will fuel our primal instincts, leading to chaotic, end-of-world-like situations were people panic and riot, stopping at nothing to get their hands on some food.

Similarly, we will try to take our money out of the bank as quickly as possible, foreseeing the imminent crisis that will render our bank credit worthless. Quite useless, actually, as money will quickly lose its value in the world of a plummeting economy anyhow. The rest of this scenario plays out like an apocalyptic movie: our homes, bereft of any sort of energy, will become useless shells as we are no longer able to flush our toilets, watch our tv, heat our rooms, connect to the internet, and cook our food.
As our lights quite literally go out, authorities will stand by helplessly as all of their crucial systems are flat on their behind as well, including police, hospitals and armies. Riots will break out and the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’ will be given a whole other meaning. All because of one silly, little, seemingly insignificant resource.

Do not despair yet, though. You will be happy to hear that most governments have plans in place to prevent the last scenario from ever happening, starting by reducing their country’s reliance on oil. And although I may have attempted to paint a picture of oil being indispensable, there is evidence to the contrary. Entire countries are going ‘oil-free’, instead opting for a variety of renewable sources of energy to fuel their economies. In particular those countries who do not have much oil of their own are rapidly adjusting, fuelling innovations that can, in turn, be adapted and implemented by other countries as well.

The main point? We cannot do it alone. We must do it together, with other countries. Together, we can find ways to live without oil. We can innovate, we can re-new, we can learn. That is, and has always been, the greatest strength of us, human beings. 
But in order to avert the doom-scenario I briefly described above, and have a shot at making the dreamy ideal-world scenario I painted before that come true at some point in the future, we have got to take action. Today. Oil is ending - and the sooner we accept this, the earlier we can start looking for sustainable alternatives.

This way, we can prevent a situation where we will suddenly find ourselves out of oil tomorrow - and give ourselves the opportunity to have a much smoother, calmer transition to a cleaner world.

https://www.whatsorb.com/category/community

A World Without Oil Fueled By Renewables. Are We On Track?

Just sit back and enjoy that thought for a minute. What if, suddenly, from one day to the next, there would be no more oil? Not a tank, not a gallon, not even a single drop? Aside from the obvious negative implications for those economies that are driven by the black gold, there will be plenty of other side-effects, both positive and negative.   Electric cars fueled by renewable energy sources I’m going to allow myself to indulge in the fantasy and explore ways of how the world will change because of it. Starting with the obvious one: we will no longer be able to fuel up our cars at the gas station down the street. So that will be a shame, leaving that big ol’ Chevy in the garage. Although there are plenty of alternatives.   Sustainable transport will be our go-to means of getting around. Most of us will own an electric car, fuelled by renewable energy sources - perhaps even of the self-driving variety, allowing us to sit back and relax as we are whisked from A to B. Alternatively, you can hop on the electric trains or metros, departing from fully sustainable and hyper-modern stations.   Drones, electric trucks and sustainable freight trains Goods are transported by drones, electric trucks, on sustainable freight trains, and smart container ships. All of which are obviously fitted with state-of-the-art tracking software and sensors, allowing for real-time analysis. Would you want to go on a long journey? There will be electric planes, ready to transport passengers to tropical destinations all around the world. Or you could opt for a sustainable cruise ship or yacht, sailing all the oceans of the world. No matter your destination, no matter your purpose - there will be a suitable means of transportation.   Sounds good? Well, yes. But let’s not ignore the reality of today: most of the mentioned forms of transportation are not even available yet, let alone a feasible option for the short term. The number of gas-guzzling cars far outweighs the number of electric vehicles, meaning that a sudden oil-stop would quite literally have society grinding to a halt. Perhaps we still have an electric scooter or an old-fashioned bike in the garage, although this will not be sufficient to cover large distances.   The unavoidable crash The entire aviation industry will crash - excuse the pun -, leaving those who frequently travel internationally hanging out to dry. As it stands, very few oil-free alternatives are available, quite possibly forcing the big airlines to scramble in their race to find an oil-free passenger plane. Just as it would be for the majority of the cruise- and yachting industry, in fact.   So, while the picture-perfect Jetsons-like vision of the future might sound appealing and admittedly become reality a whole lot sooner if oil were to suddenly disappear, the image for the foreseeable future would be far from rosy. International travel will become extremely difficult, whilst most of us will find ourselves limited in our mobility, having been robbed of our cars and buses. The trains and cars that remain will be far and few between - and most certainly incapable of handling the increased flow of passengers that are still hoping to retain their jobs or pursue an education.   The same goes for a gazillion other aspects of our life, all of which rely on oil. Deny all you want, but it is a painful fact that oil serves as the backbone of our society. Taking it all away would quite literally undermine all that we have built up, which could be disastrous for the world’s economy and set us back decades.   Nuclear power is relatively foolproof To illustrate this, just take a look at the energy needs of the world. Without oil, there is only one real alternative that would be able to meet the needs of the world - nuclear energy. All of the renewable energy sources that are currently available - hydro, wind, solar, geothermal, and wave energy - are nowhere near sufficient to power all of today’s society. Nuclear power is relatively foolproof, extremely clean, and very safe.   So that sounds great - who needs oil for energy generation anyway? Unfortunately, the matter is once again not as easy and smooth as it may seem. While the costs of building nuclear facilities and the lengthy timeline associated with it may have been historical bottlenecks, the major problem is public perception. Spurred on by organisations like Greenpeace, a large proportion of the general population is not in favour of nuclear energy, to say the least, or absolutely frightened by it, at its most extreme. Events like Chernobyl and Fukushima are ingrained within our collective memory, making the general acceptance of nuclear energy a hurdle that will be tricky to overcome. Not to mention the time that it would cost us to actually build enough nuclear power plants to deliver sufficient energy, once again leaving us in a grim, dark place for the first years after having lost our oil overnight. Our lives without oil After all, figuring out how to live our lives without oil will entail even more than 'just' the way we move and generate energy. It will change the way we eat, we live, the way that we dress. Our homes will have to become much greener, as we cannot use as much energy to heat it: insulation and ventilation are the key words, while our home appliances will have to be super efficient. Low-flush toilets, water saving dishwashers, and low-draw lightbulbs will become the new norm.   Our food will be produced locally, changing each season, depending on what is available in our vegetable gardens. The same applies for clothing: fabrics that are available locally will set the norm for our garments, quite possibly including some new innovative techniques to keep us warm (remember the need to save energy in our homes?). Wait, I once again described the ideal situation. Would it really be as simple as making an instant switch to a local economy, where we all live in sustainable homes and only eat the food and wear the clothes that are available at a given time? Without putting up much of a fight? Sustainable alternatives Well, probably not. Chances are that, as the result of an oil crisis, we will turn into cavemen instead - and definitely not in the good way. Instead of resorting to outfits made out of hides and skins of animals and hunting deers and gathering fruits and nuts, we will take our figurative spears and head off to loot the supermarkets. The prospect of food shortages will fuel our primal instincts, leading to chaotic, end-of-world-like situations were people panic and riot, stopping at nothing to get their hands on some food. Similarly, we will try to take our money out of the bank as quickly as possible, foreseeing the imminent crisis that will render our bank credit worthless. Quite useless, actually, as money will quickly lose its value in the world of a plummeting economy anyhow. The rest of this scenario plays out like an apocalyptic movie: our homes, bereft of any sort of energy, will become useless shells as we are no longer able to flush our toilets, watch our tv, heat our rooms, connect to the internet, and cook our food. As our lights quite literally go out, authorities will stand by helplessly as all of their crucial systems are flat on their behind as well, including police, hospitals and armies. Riots will break out and the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’ will be given a whole other meaning. All because of one silly, little, seemingly insignificant resource. Do not despair yet, though. You will be happy to hear that most governments have plans in place to prevent the last scenario from ever happening, starting by reducing their country’s reliance on oil. And although I may have attempted to paint a picture of oil being indispensable, there is evidence to the contrary. Entire countries are going ‘oil-free’, instead opting for a variety of renewable sources of energy to fuel their economies. In particular those countries who do not have much oil of their own are rapidly adjusting, fuelling innovations that can, in turn, be adapted and implemented by other countries as well. The main point? We cannot do it alone. We must do it together, with other countries. Together, we can find ways to live without oil. We can innovate, we can re-new, we can learn. That is, and has always been, the greatest strength of us, human beings.   But in order to avert the doom-scenario I briefly described above, and have a shot at making the dreamy ideal-world scenario I painted before that come true at some point in the future, we have got to take action. Today. Oil is ending - and the sooner we accept this, the earlier we can start looking for sustainable alternatives. This way, we can prevent a situation where we will suddenly find ourselves out of oil tomorrow - and give ourselves the opportunity to have a much smoother, calmer transition to a cleaner world. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/community
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