As you can see, oil dependency has been an issue for America for over 3 decades. Yet we continue to increase our consumption and dependency on oil every year. Just think how different our American lives would be without oil? People use and consume oil every day, yet rarely think about how important this natural resource is to our everyday lives. If America were to one day go without oil, all hell would break loose.
With this in mind, you need to understand what the future looks like as of now. China, a rising global power, is continuing to grow at an exponential rate. However, this growth demands oil to keep their economy functioning. Currently, America is the largest consumer of oil in the world. This position gives America purchasing power because we buy the most. However, if China is to surpass the US in the future, America loses much of its’ purchasing power to China. Now, we would still be able to get oil, but this oil prices would start sky rocketing. Even more importantly, oil is depleting fast. As I mentioned earlier, growing developed countries are starting to demand more oil. With this increase in competition of a diminishing resource, prices will once again, sky rocket.
Since our economy depends on oil to function, the rise in oil prices in the future is going to impact America exponentially if we keep our oil consuming habits. Of the 6.7 billion barrels a year America consumes, 75% goes to our transportation sector. There lies the answer! We can find ways to reduce our consumption every day through transportation. Americans are in love with their cars more than any other nation. We have the lowest gas tax, drive the most, hell, we even invented the damn things. But our car culture has a price. We are currently seeing it now with the rising gas prices and depleting oil reserves. Wars are already being fought over this valuable resource. But we can change and I can show you how…
Amory Lovins is one of the world’s leading authorities on energy. In particular, he is an expert in regards to its efficient use and sustainable supply and would deliver a captivating sustainability-focused talk. I am an adamant supporter of all areas of sustainability and what can be done to make the world a “greener” place. Global warming is happening now. The effects are evident not only in the obscure places of the world like the North and South Pole but even here in the United States. Drastic storm systems and high off-season temperatures are becoming more and more frequent. My home town was just wiped out by Hurricane Sandy and it will take years to rebuild all that was lost. I am very close to these issues and I am always looking to raise more awareness.
As the vice president of the Environmental Club here at Bucknell, I am always looking for ways to make our campus more green. Our initiatives include promoting people to conserve water, use less electricity, recycle, etc. Lately we have been hoping to enlist some more outside help because it gets to a point that our badgering of people as they walk through the LC Mall just doesn’t work anymore. Bucknell could really use the advice of Amory Lovins to raise awareness on the issues of the dependence of the United States on oil.
In his talk, “A 50 Year Plan for Energy,” Lovins drives home the point that we must leave oil before it leaves us. Not only should we start saving electricity, but we should also be making it differently. This is a talk that describes the steps that can be taken to allow the United States to no longer be dependent on oil and coal by 2050. When I first heard him suggest that figure, I was pretty apprehensive to believe that we could change that quickly. I still think Lovins is a little too naïve in how simple he believes this challenge to be, however, his proposals have a lot of possibilities. His talk outlines the sectors in the United States that need to change. He also discusses the solutions, but directs his listeners to read his book Reinventing Fire to get the full details of all the suggested solutions. Perhaps if we were able to get Lovins to speak at Bucknell, we could also have him do a book signing after the talk. That will promote more people to read his book prior to the talk and simultaneously spread more awareness. Just remember that peak oil is around the corner and more people should really be listening the ideas of Amory Lovins!