If you read the introductory blog for Common Science you will remember that I promised to address both local and global issues. I am starting with a global issue because we are at the very beginning of the coming scarcity of oil and this will be the predominant science story in the world for the next 20 to 30 years (with strong competition from water availability and climate change). I am planning in a series of blog entries on petroleum and its impact on both the world and Chapelboro. The working titles (I reserve the right to change these) for this series so far are:
1. Photosynthesis Part I: Oxygen Gets all the Press
2. Photosynthesis Part II: Glucose Should Get a Better Agent
3. Petroleum: 300 Million Years of Sunlight
4. Peak Oil in 5 Paragraphs or Less
5. Gas Prices and the Dow Jones
6. Everything Comes from Oil, Everything
7. Entropy or the Ghost of J. Willard Gibbs
8. We won’t really be driving electric cars
9. $8.00 Per Gallon Gas
10. 1836 Here We Come
Articles about food and our eating habits often discuss the disconnection people have between what’s on their dinner plate and how it was produced. The goal of helping people make this connection is to influence eating and shopping decisions in a way to lessen the impact of food production on the environment. To my point of view the disconnection between the products and lifestyle we use and experience and the absolute centrality of petroleum to everything is even greater than the disconnection on food.
This opening series leads you to draw those connections starting from a ray of sunlight which struck the earth three billion years ago, through the rise of life on earth, the discovery of oil, the industrial and population explosions that followed, and to the limits of this amazing, limited, and irreplaceable resource, all in just few blog posts.
At the end, I hope I can get you to see what I see. That modern society is completely dependent on oil , a resource which about to become scarce, and that our public policy decisions, globally, nationally, and right here in Chapelboro need to factor this in, now.
Now, those are my thoughts. What are yours? Comment below.