Slightly more than half of the world’s population is under the age of 30. That means most of the people alive on this planet right now will live to see the end of oil. ETA: 42 years if consumed at current rates. I’m 34. If I’m lucky (or unlucky) enough to live to 75, I could spend the last years of my life in the midst of an apocalypse. Not a cheering thought, I know. But I’d be one of the lucky ones. Anyone younger than me will just have more devastating years to look forward to, unless we take serious steps to minimize our dependence on oil. The image below contains global figures.
The U.S. is one of the worst offenders, partly because of our size, and partly because of our policies and politics. The latter are inexcusable, but they are also changeable. Given the past decade of discussions, denials, progress, regress, posturing and palm-greasing, you’ll forgive me if I’m not overly optimistic. Our sustained lack of ability, as a people, as a culture, to make real progress on this life-threatening issue is disturbing in the extreme.
So why do I care? Because nothing I do matters…nothing anyone does or ever has done matters, not Plato, not Shakespeare, not Madame Curie, not Stephen Hawking, not Bob Dylan, not Noam Chomsky, not Neil deGrasse Tyson, not Salman Rushdie, not you, if we don’t fix THIS problem.
If there was ever a time to act, it’s now. You may have to make some sacrifices, but they will be worthwhile.